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Voters queue in Khayelitsha to cast their vote during the local government elections. File picture: ESA ALEXANDER.
Voters queue in Khayelitsha to cast their vote during the local government elections. File picture: ESA ALEXANDER.

With an election in the unprecedented circumstances of a pandemic, 2021 was always going to be tumultuous. 

On top of that SA saw changes to the cabinet, the usual scandal and their unusual consequences, and the collapse of the land expropriation debate in parliament.

Below are some of BD’s most-read political pieces of 2021.

1. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet reshuffle was postponed twice in a period of four months.

2. Late in March, at the end of a meeting of the NEC, the so-called reformists in the party seemed to have won a decisive victory with a decision that the step-aside rule must be implemented in line with the procedures adopted at its last meeting in February.

3. Herman Mashaba resigned from the DA and the city in 2019, citing the internal pushback he faced in the party against his pro-poor policies. He found himself in coalition discussions with his former political party only two years later.

4. In a move to strike a deal with the EFF to amend the property clause of the constitution, the ANC proposed that state custodianship be applicable to “certain land” within the context of expropriation.

5. Some in the ANC’s senior ranks resigned themselves to a possible future on the opposition benches after suffering significant losses at the polls.

6. The governing ANC is choking under a debt burden of more than R200m, forcing tax authorities and the Unemployment Insurance Fund to garnish millions from the party’s bank account.

7. Business Day revealed in August that Ramaphosa told a meeting that there had to be “accountability” and “consequence management” for violent riots in July that claimed more than 300 lives, signalling changes to his executive.

8. In one of biggest local government election upsets, the ANC lost outright control of eThekwini Metro.

9. After the devastating loss of two crucial Gauteng metros, the ANC opted not to participate in voting for the speaker and the mayor of Tshwane.

10. Less than three months before the local elections, the ANC was at war with itself.

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