SA is fast approaching a political turning point. This will be determined by the outcome of the struggle for power between two main factions within the ANC that I describe as the Traditionalists and the Reformers. This struggle will come to a head in December, when the party elects its leadership during the ANC’s conference. SA is a laggard in a region that is expected to be among the most rapidly growing in the world, and it also lags its upper middle-income peers globally. When the government is absent, distracted or incompetent, other actors move in to fill the void and new political dynamics emerge. The 2019 elections will probably reveal further reductions in electoral support for the ANC and gains for opposition parties, unless the ruling party can pull a very large rabbit out of the hat. The government is being "tested by mounting demands, but falls short in its response", said the Human Sciences Research Council in its 2016 State of the Nation report. A growing protest movem...

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