Reactive: The rise of Jacob Zuma and the future for South Africa and the ANC

Talk Thursday 7th May, 2009

Victory in the general elections in South Africa for Jacob Zuma and the ANC follows a tumultuous 18 months wracked by high level corruption scandals, bitter rivalries and battles for the very ideological soul of the party. The ANC’s response to the crisis will define both the future of the ANC and the whole of South Africa.

The panel will discuss the rise of Jacob Zuma against this background and look at the future of the ANC, examining whether the party will remain deeply divided and to what extent will Jacob Zuma will be able to tackle some of the biggest domestic problems facing the state, including policy failures in areas such as health, education and crime? Will he be able to address the fundamental economic imbalance that makes South Africa the most unequal society on earth? And on the foreign policy front how will Zuma and the ANC interact with the power sharing government in Zimbabwe between ZANU-PF (an ANC ally) and the MDC?


James Eedes was formerly Africa editor of the Banker magazine, the specialist banking and capital markets publication of the Financial Times Group. He currently works in corporate finance

Andrew Feinstein is author of After the Party: Corruption, the ANC and South Africa’s Uncertain Future, which is a hard-hitting evaluation of contemporary South African politics.

Josephine Onike Hazeley is the deputy editor of BBC World Service’s daily African news and current affairs programme, Focus on Africa

Alec Russell is the FT’s world news editor and the former southern Africa bureau chief

The event will be chaired by Richard Cockett, Africa editor, the Economist