Understanding South Africa

Carien du Plessis


Martin Plaut

The go-to guide for those seeking an informed, balanced and up-to-date analysis of South African politics and society in the Ramaphosa era.

Bibliographic Details
Understanding South Africa Paperback
October 2019£16.99
9781787382046 176pp
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When Nelson Mandela emerged from decades in jail to preach reconciliation, South Africans truly appeared a people reborn as the Rainbow Nation. Yet, a quarter of a century later, the country sank into bitter recriminations and rampant corruption under Jacob Zuma. Why did this happen, and how was hope betrayed?

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is seeking to heal these wounds, is due to lead the African National Congress into an election by May 2019. The ANC is hoping to claw back support lost to the opposition in the Zuma era. This book will shed light on voters’ choices and analyse the election outcome as the results emerge.

With chapters on all the major issues at stake—from education to land redistribution— Understanding South Africa offers insights into Africa’s largest and most diversified economy, closely tied to its neighbours’ fortunes.


Carien du Plessis is one of South Africa's most respected journalists. She writes for The Huffington Post, The Mail & Guardian, and City Press.

Martin Plaut, the BBC World Service’s former Africa Editor, has published extensively on African affairs. An adviser to the Foreign Office and the US State Department, he is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.