ABSTRACT

South Africa: Politics, Economy, and U.S. Relations [December 6, 2013]   [open pdf - 461KB]

"South Africa is a multi-racial, majority black southern African country of nearly 52 million. It held its first universal suffrage elections in 1994, after a transition from white minority rule under apartheid, a system of state-enforced racial segregation and socioeconomic discrimination. South Africa entered a period of mourning in late 2013, following the passing of its first post-apartheid president, Nelson Mandela, who is viewed as the founding father of today's nonracial South African democratic system. […] In mid-2013, President Obama traveled to South Africa after visiting Senegal, prior to a visit to Tanzania. The trip centered on U.S.-African partnerships in the areas of trade and investment, development, democracy and youth leadership development, and peace and security. Key issues addressed in South Africa included bilateral political and trade and investment ties, development cooperation, and shared U.S.-South African aims regarding conflict mitigation and development across Africa. […] In late 2012, the governing African National Congress (ANC) party, despite some reported internal divisions, reelected as its president Jacob Zuma, ahead of national elections in 2014. Zuma was elected to his first term as president of South Africa by the country's parliament in 2009. The ANC government faces the substantial challenges noted above, along with others, including labor unrest, rising dissatisfaction within key labor constituencies, and dissatisfaction among youths. […] To address these diverse challenges, the government is investing billions of dollars to upgrade infrastructure and improve public service delivery, but is likely to face continuing challenges in meeting popular expectations."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43130
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Publisher:
Date:
2013-12-06
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Copyright:
Public Domain
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pdf
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application/pdf
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