African National Congress Draws 62 Percent of the Vote in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG — As the final ballots of South Africa’s fifth post-apartheid election were tallied on Friday, the results handed the governing African National Congress a victory with 62 percent of the vote — nearly the same share it won in 1994, the year it assumed power under Nelson Mandela in the nation’s f irst truly democratic election.

But the nearly identical results mask glaring differences between the two periods, during which the party has been transformed from a liberation movement that inspired South Africans, as well as Africans on the rest of the continent, to a ….. Continue Reading

Steadily improving’ Mandela celebrates 95th birthday

PRETORIA | Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:02am EDT

(Reuters) – Anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela is “steadily improving”, South Africa’s government said on Thursday as the former president celebrated his 95th birthday in hospital amid tributes from around the country and the world.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, globally admired as a symbol of struggle against injustice and of racial reconciliation, has been under treatment since June 8 for a recurring lung infection that has led to four hospital stays in the past six months.

“Madiba remains in hospital in Pretoria, but his doctors have confirmed that ….. Continue Reading

Africa’s economic boom: Five countries to watch

South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Ghana, and Ethiopia all have economies that are growing at a brisk pace. But their future depends on how they invest that money, writes Matthew Hawki

As competition for raw resources heats up globally, economic and political elites in the West are turning to Africa for quick and generous capital gains and for the promotion of British and American geostrategic interests.

This is not the first time that these elites have been optimistic about Africa – about a decade and a half ago “Africa experts” boosted new ….. Continue Reading

Construction – the boom lives on

South Africa plans to invest $95bn in infrastructure projects between 2012 and 2015 in order to reinvigorate the economy and create more employment, as the construction sector is famously labour intensive. Despite the generally positive economic trend in Africa, the picture in the continent’s biggest economy, South Africa, is much more mixed. Yet while there is intense pressure on the South African government to cut costs, Pretoria has promised to maintain its planned infrastructure programme. ….. Continue Reading