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Crisis in South Africa Shakes Up Politics Before Party Election

President Ramaphosa is facing criticism from predecessors over his running of the country.

Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Updated on

The economy is shrinking, power cuts are at a record, unemployment is close to an all-time high, living costs have surged, towns are falling apart and there are sporadic outbreaks of xenophobic violence. 

The laundry list of challenges confronting South Africa is a massive headache for Cyril Ramaphosa heading into governing-party elections in December and a national vote in 2024. Since taking over as president in early 2018 from Jacob Zuma, whose almost nine-year tenure was characterized by the wholesale looting of taxpayer funds, he’s struggled to turn the country and state finances around.