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South Africa

Yearbook 2011

South Africa. The government announced in February that it had decided to start a fund to create new jobs. Over the next three years, the equivalent of SEK 9 billion would be put into the fund in the hope of being able to push down unemployment, which is still a major problem despite strong economic growth over a number of years. In July, open unemployment was set at 25.7%, but it only included those who were actively seeking employment. If those who gave up the hope of finding a job were included, the figure would be 33.9%. Unofficially, the real unemployment rate was believed to be around 40%.

2011 South Africa

As a result of unemployment, the need for support from society is great. In April, the Minister of Social Affairs said that 30% of South Africans receive social support in some form. Among them are more than ten million children. 10% of government spending goes towards social support. Of the nearly 50 million residents, only 5.9 million earn so much that they have to pay income tax. According to the government, the deep social divisions are a continuing legacy of the inequality built up under the apartheid system.

As noted by Abbreviationfinder, another problem in today's South Africa is corruption, which extends high up into the upper strata of society. The more prominent suspected corruption havens in recent years relate to the large arms purchases that South Africa made in 1999 from a number of countries, including Sweden, which sold 26 JAS 39 Gripen planes. A few people were convicted in the early 00's for bribery, but then the issue stopped. In September, the government decided that the investigations should be resumed. following Swedish TV disclosures that at least SEK 24 million was paid to an employee of the then South African Minister of Defense for order fulfillment of the JAS plan.

In October, President Zuma dismissed two ministers and shut down the chief of police after all three were identified in corruption arrests. The fact that the president went so hard against close allies was interpreted as an attempt to show the opposition that he was serious about trying to quell corruption. On the other hand, the layoffs were believed to be able to give him enemies within the ANC government party ahead of the 2012 party elections.. Already in 2010, the song was banned by the court, but since he appealed, the case was again dragged through the court system. The beat became the same: the song spread rashly and Malema was forbidden to sing it.

The controversial Malema was also the subject of an internal disciplinary inquiry within the ANC for breaking a number of party rules and breaking the party within a number of points. Among other things, he had put the government in an embarrassing situation by advocating that the government in Botswana - the "United States doll" - should be replaced. The verdict was that Malema was dismissed as the leader of the youth union and was suspended from the ANC for five years. Despite this, he could later be elected to the board of the ANC's provincial branch in Limpopo with the explanation that the shutdown will not gain legal force until his appeal has been tried.

The government also received stinging criticism from the opposition and the outside world for proposing a law on "protection of information", which was feared to lead to serious restrictions on freedom of expression. The law proposed that all authorities should have the right to protect confidential information and that leaks should be punished with imprisonment for up to 25 years. Similarly, a media tribunal could punish "bad journalism". The criticism caused the government to back down partially. It promised to abolish the mandatory prison sentence and said that only authorities with direct responsibility for the security of the state would have the right to freely disclose information. The opposition objected to the lack of a clear definition of the concept of "the security of the kingdom". The law was passed by a large majority of the parliament's lower house in November and is expected to be considered by the upper house in 2012.

More criticism was given to the government when it did not give the Tibetan leader and peace prize Dalai lame visa for being able to attend former Archbishop Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday. The government blamed the slow handling of the visa application and denied that it had bowed to Chinese pressure.

The ANC won as expected big in the nationwide local elections in May, but the takeover against the largest opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) shrank. The DA, which has so far mainly attracted whites and so-called colored ones, made an attempt in October to further win support among the majority of the population by, for the first time, electing a black for its group leader in parliament.

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