South Africa: Current Issues, Economy, and U.S. Relations [Updated July 30, 2020]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Introduction: "South Africa, a majority black, multiracial country of nearly 60 million people, has the most diversified and industrialized economy in Africa, but has suffered years of low growth and is burdened by deeply embedded socioeconomic inequalities. President is Cyril Ramaphosa ('rahmah-POH-sah'), of the majority African National Congress (ANC) party, is leading a reform agenda aimed at improving the economy and public service delivery, and addressing corruption. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has sharply intensified the already formidable economic and health challenges facing South Africa, which include a high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate. The National Assembly elected then-Vice President Ramaphosa as president in early 2018, following the resignation of his predecessor, Jacob Zuma. Zuma stepped down in the face of a threat of a parliamentary no confidence vote after defying a decision by ANC leaders to recall him as the party's national presidential nominee--in large part as a result of multiple corruption scandals. Discontent with Zuma had helped cement Ramaphosa's victory in a bruising late 2017 ANC election to lead the party, which has suffered a gradual loss of electoral support in recent years. While the ANC was able to retain a parliamentary majority in the last general elections, held in May 2019--a majority it has held since the country's first universal suffrage polls in 1994--it earned 57.5% of votes, its lowest share to date. After the election, the parliament, under the country's indirect presidential election system, voted to re-elect Ramaphosa as president."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R45687
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
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