Dangerous Elites: Protest, conflict and the future of South Africa
The African National Congress’ failure to manage elite contestation in its ranks since 2007 has seen tensions spilling out, often as ‘service delivery’ protests. Former president Jacob Zuma controlled this infighting, largely through patronage and repression. The sharp rise in protests from the end of 2017 suggests that President Cyril Ramaphosa does not seek nor have the same autocratic power as his predecessor. Instead he’s trying to manage internal party disputes within the constitutional framework by rebuilding institutions weakened through state capture.