South Africa 2006
South Africa. In February, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel presented a budget for 2006/07 characterized by extensive tax cuts, which were made possible by greatly increased tax collection. In the first place, the tax cuts were aimed at low- and middle-income earners, but small businesses also benefited in the hope that this would lead to the creation of new jobs.
According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in South Africa include Independence Day (December 11) and New Year (January 1). Unemployment was said to be 27%, but significantly more were assumed to be outside the statistics.
In April, Hannes Visser became the first white landowner to agree to sell back his farm to the state. The government wants to return 30% of the farmland to black ownership by 2014, but negotiations with the owners are slow. The affected white landowners were given a six-month deadline in August to agree on a sale price, otherwise they risk the state seizing their land.
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) triumphed in more than 60% of the country’s municipalities in local elections in March, despite growing criticism of the Party of Corruption and failed promises of improved conditions for the black population. The biggest hardship came in Cape Town, where the Democratic Alliance (DA) managed to gain a majority in the city council through cooperation with a smaller party. Through administrative changes, the ANC tried to seize power in the city but after six months gave up the fight after harsh criticism.
Former Vice President Jacob Zuma was acquitted of a rape charge in May. However, during the trial, he made a series of statements that were considered to have seriously undermined his political position. Among other things, he expressed gross ignorance of the danger of AIDS, despite being the government’s responsible for the work on spreading the immune deficiency disease. Later, a corruption charge was laid against him, after the judge rejected the prosecutors’ request for more time for preparation.
South Africa suffered a diplomatic setback when President Thabo Mbeki was deprived of his role as a mediator in the Ivory Coast following criticism for favoring the country’s president. On the other hand, diplomatic success was noted when the country was elected to the UN Security Council in October for the first time.
A great deal of attention aroused Parliament’s decision in November to allow same-sex marriage, the first time it took place in an African country.
Former President PW Botha died at the age of 90. He was Prime Minister and President 1978-89, respectively, and defended the apartheid system at a time when opposition to racial segregation policy culminated.
1991 Rising clash with Inkatha and neo-Nazis
In parallel with this development, the “Inkathagate” scandal broke out. It revealed the support the government had given to the Zulu in the form of money and military training, and seriously questioned the government’s intentions. The clashes between the ANC and Inkatha had cost 5,000 killed since 1986. The ANC had laid its weapons in August 90, but in June 91 the clashes intensified. At the end of July, they resigned from the Klerk defense and interior ministers. In September, an agreement was reached between the two groups and the government, yet the number of people killed increased the following month.
The National African Front (NFA) sought to establish an independent white state. In January, some 3,000 armed members of the organization held a demonstration in front of the World Trade Center, where negotiations for a new constitution were underway. They ended up driving an armored crew car through the center’s glass wall.
A report by the Human Rights Commission estimated the number of people killed during the political violence to be 9,352 for the period 1990-93.
Inkatha, the NFA and the Conservative Party withdrew from the constitutional negotiations and decided to boycott the electoral process. The “president” of the Transvaal, Lucas Mangope, declared during a strike among public servants that he joined this boycott. It immediately triggered demonstrations. At the same time, the neo-Nazi Viljoen ordered his African Resistance Movement to invade Bophuthastwana to help Mangope. However, they were met by resistance from civilian black and local forces and forced to retire. Mangope was deposed and the South African army took control of the situation. 50 had been killed and 300 injured. A few days later, Viljoen decided to take part in the electoral process with his newly created Freedom Front.
Inkatha continued its attacks on the ANC’s public activities and provoked violent clashes with Mandela’s supporters. Inkatha’s leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi tried to maintain control of another bantustan – also in Natal. It failed but he achieved the constitutional recognition of the Zulu king Goodwill Zweletini, and then agreed to take part in the elections.
In October, the UN imposed sanctions on South Africa, and the United States immediately removed its last financial restrictions. The Provisional Constitution created a National Assembly with 400 members and a Senate with 90. The president should have less power than the Prime Minister and be elected by the National Assembly for a term of 5 years. A new division of the country was adopted into 9 provinces, each with their governor and legislative assembly. The 10 bantustans that had been dissolved were incorporated into these provinces. The national forces for the preservation of peace were formed by merging the South African army with the guerrilla units of the ANC and PAC.
General information about South Africa
Cape Town has a European look and a Mediterranean climate, and is said to be one of the most beautiful in the world. Low population spreads between Table Mountain and the Atlantic. A short boat ride away is Robben Prison Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The colorful Malay Quarter, the old Dutch fortress and the shopping center that has risen to the waterfront harbor with its many restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues are Cape Town’s main attractions. Of the northern metropolises, Pretoria cherishes the memory of the Boers. Its surroundings were settled 270 years ago by a group of Dutch-born farmers who came from the Cape area and sought their guidance in the Bible in the hope of a better life and living space. Unfortunately, many others were interested in the gold and diamonds found in their lands, and the Boers had to struggle for their right to the land and its riches. It was gold that gave birth to another major city, Johannesburg. Today, Johannesburg is the pulsating heart of South African business. The old gravel huts of the gold mines tell of the solid foundation of the country’s wealth. Around Johannesburg flourishes a number of suburbs, some of which, such as Soweto, were born during racial oppression. Blacks wanted to be isolated in their own neighborhoods. These once-unworthy slum areas have today, through the prosperity and equality of the country, given a new look with their new residential areas and multi-layered social classes. A different kind of suburb can be found in Sandton, where a cluster of hotels and large shopping malls is born.
In South Africa, you can get a taste of both fresh seafood and a variety of game dishes. Excellent wines from your own country are ordered to pick up your meal. The country is a cornucopia of natural resources. It also offers unique nature experiences on many of its safaris, including Pilanesberg, from where you can also visit Sun City. The safari in Pilanesberg is a unique opportunity to see the animals free in their own habitat as nature moves at the pace and schedule of the animals. As the midday heat exhausts the animals in search of a shady nap, it is also ideal for travelers to retreat to the cozy Lodge for a good meal and by the pool.