30 years of democracy since the end of apartheid

In this year 2024, which includes electoral consultations in various states around the world, the recent national elections of South Africa they played an important role. In fact, thirty years have passed sinceAfrican National Congress (ANC)party led by Nelson Mandela, won the country's first free elections: since then, the democratic system, which gives citizens the freedom to vote regardless of the color of their skin, has remained strongespecially in comparison with the rest of the African continent, prey to instability.

The most striking result of the latest votes is that L'ANCfor the first time in the history of South Africa, did not obtain an absolute majority of seatsand will therefore have to opt for a coalition government. All this will mark a profound change, which will be reflected in South Africa's strategic and geopolitical choices in the months to come.

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South Africa between Mandela's dream and confrontation with reality

Looking at South Africa today, it is quite impressive to think that until thirty years ago the country was firmly in the hands of white ethnic groups, the only ones allowed to vote. It was the political system ofaside, which remained unchanged for almost the entire 20th century. After a difficult and gradual process of opening up to indigenous ethnic groups, the first general elections took place in 1994. free and fairor “free and just”, which saw the triumph ofANC. The party, then led by Nelson Mandela, who became the first black president of South Africa, managed to maintain its electoral supremacy, in fact, to the present day.

However, although it is the party that embodies the fight against racial segregation, L'ANCover the years, has also had to deal with the complex problems of South African society. They are, mostlycorruption, widespread crime and increasing unemployment rates: all challenges thatANCUnfortunately, he was not always able to recover.

New generations can change South Africa's politics

The South African electoral system provides for the election of 400 deputies who make up the National Assembly. It is therefore this body which elects the new President (a role until now occupied by Cyril Ramaphosa). After the latest political consultations L'ANCfor the first time in the history of South Africa, did not obtain an absolute majority of seats. At this point, Mandela's former party will have to form a coalition government, which is unprecedented for democratic South Africa.

Furthermore, as has already happened in other states, the South African elections also had the younger generations as protagonists. A considerable percentage of voters were made up of people aged between 18 and 39: that is to say individuals who, when theaside they were children or not even born. All this could happen in the near future open new scenarios, also favoring South African opposition parties and renewing their political landscape.

The fruitful relationship between South Africa and the European Union

As the European elections approach, it is important to remember the relations between South Africa and the EU. The European Union is in fact currently the first partner African state tradealthough the latter is a member of BRICS+, the consortium of emerging global economies. Furthermore, it is necessary to underline Europe's growing interest in South African artists, as evidenced by the presence of pavilions dedicated to them during the last Venice Biennales and at the Salone del Mobile in Milan.

For this reason, as in the case of long elections in India, the recent South African election result reminds us of the value of democracy and that it can never be taken for granted. If the people of South Africa can now peacefully question the actions of those who govern them, it is only because of their decades-long struggle for the expansion of civil rights.

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