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On December 18, the ANC will elect a new president for the first time in 10 years. This comes at a time of unprecedented political and economic crisis for post-apartheid SA. Publishing its annual Global Competitiveness Report in September, the World Economic Forum ranked SA 61st out of 137 countries, finding that "SA’s economy is nearly at a standstill, with GDP growth forecast at just 1% in 2017 and 1.2% in 2018 … while its unemployment rate is currently estimated above 25% and rising".

These figures have only deteriorated since the report was released. In October, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba indicated that projected GDP growth is now 0.7% for 2017 and 1.1% for 2018, while the statistician-general revealed that unemployment stands at a record 27.7%. Appreciating how SA has arrived at this state and deciding how best to emerge from it will be important sites of contestation at the ANC’s elective conference. The two leading candidates, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy Presi...

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