The Round table “South Africa: a quarter of a century after apartheid” (1994-2019) held at the Institute for African Studies of Russian Academy of Sciences was dedicated to analysis of achievements and problems of this most developed African state. The speakers noted that that a number of positive shifts have taken place in South Africa after the liquidation of the system of racial discrimination and apartheid, including establishment of non-racial democracy, realization of mass housing building programme, electrification and sanitation programs for the most impoverished segments of the African population, growth of the Black middle class. At the same time certain negative processes have also taken place provoking growth of social tensions. Among them: widespread corruption and nepotism (“state capture” by corrupt oligarchy surrounding former president Zuma) and xenophobia, administrative mismanagement and slowdown of economic growth, aggravation of unemployment and social inequality. Change of political leadership (new president C. Ramaphosa took office in 2018) is considered as an attempt by the ruling ANC to purify the country’s socio-political life and attain sustainable and inclusive economic growth. In South Africa the end of the Zuma era that has been known as the “lost decade” brings elements of positive change as the new administration makes steps to return public trust.
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