South Africa Marks 30 Years Since Apartheid Amid Growing Discontent

South Africa marks 30 years since apartheid's end, but discontent grows over ANC's failure to address poverty, inequality, and high youth unemployment ahead of critical election.

Israel Ojoko
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South Africa Marks 30 Years Since Apartheid Amid Growing Discontent

South Africa Marks 30 Years Since Apartheid Amid Growing Discontent

South Africa commemorated the 30th anniversary of the end of apartheid and the birth of its democracy on April 27, 2024.

The day marks the pivotal first democratic election in 1994 that announced the official end of racial segregation and oppression under apartheid. However, the celebrations were marked by growing discontent with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) government, as President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged setbacks and the country faces high youth unemployment of around 60% ahead of a critical election on May 29.

Despite the progress made since the end of apartheid, many South Africans continue to struggle with socioeconomic challenges, and the ANC government has faced criticism for its handling of these issues. President Ramaphosa, who leads the ANC, presided over the ceremony in Pretoria and acknowledged the setbacks the country has faced, including vast poverty, inequality, high unemployment, and the collapse of basic services.

Why this matters: The 30th anniversary of the end of apartheid in South Africa highlights the ongoing challenges the country faces in addressing socioeconomic inequalities and improving the lives of its citizens. The upcoming election on May 29 is seen as a critical test for the ANC's continued dominance in South African politics and its ability to deliver on the promises of the post-apartheid era.

The ANC has been in power since the first democratic, all-race election in 1994, but its popularity is waning, and analysts predict it may lose its parliamentary majority in the upcoming May 29 election. A new generation of South Africans, referred to as 'Born Frees,' are making their voices heard and looking beyond the ANC for a change in the future. The country's youth unemployment rate is over 60%, and South Africa remains the most unequal country in the world in terms of wealth distribution.

President Ramaphosa recognized that while the 1994 election was a landmark moment, the country still faces significant challenges in improving the lives of its majority Black population. "We must acknowledge that while we have made significant progress, we have not always lived up to the promise of 1994," Ramaphosa said during the Freedom Day celebrations.

The 1994 election that ended apartheid and brought the ANC to power has not significantly improved the lives of millions, with the black majority still overwhelmingly affected by severe poverty and unemployment.

The ANC is increasingly being blamed for South Africa's current problems, and a new political party called Rise Mzansi is gaining support among the 'Born Frees' - South Africans who never experienced apartheid and are now old enough to vote.

As South Africa commemorates 30 years since the end of apartheid, the country faces a critical moment in its democratic journey. The upcoming election on May 29 will be a significant test for the ANC's continued leadership and its ability to address the pressing challenges of poverty, inequality, and unemployment. President Ramaphosa acknowledged the setbacks and the need for the government to do more to improve the lives of all South Africans, especially the youth who face a staggering 60% unemployment rate. The 'Born F

Key Takeaways

  • South Africa marks 30 years since end of apartheid, but faces discontent with ANC
  • Unemployment, poverty, and inequality remain major challenges, with 60% youth joblessness
  • Upcoming May 29 election seen as critical test for ANC's dominance and ability to deliver
  • New generation of 'Born Frees' are making their voices heard, looking beyond the ANC
  • President Ramaphosa acknowledges setbacks, says gov't must do more to improve lives