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Will election change South Africa?

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 - 01:54

May 6 - South Africa's new Economic Freedom Fighters has been wooing voters ahead of the country's elections on Wednesday. But as Hayley Platt reports few expect any change of leadership despite growing concerns about the economy.

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The latest strike at South Africa's platinum mines has been dragging on for more than 4 months. Global production is down 40 percent and it's so far cost the companies involved more than 1.5 billion dollars. South Africa's newly formed Economic Freedom Fighters party says it'll meet the mineworkers demands for a near doubling of wages - if they're voted into power. It's leader Julius Malema also says he'll double old age pensions and child support. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS LEADER (EFF) LEADER, JULIUS MALEMA, SAYING: "Those who are saying we are unrealistic, tell them we have got an extra cash from our mines. Tell them have got an extra cash from our land." The EEF largely appeals to unemployed youngsters and older black South Africans who feel they've not benefited since the end of apartheid. With one in four people out of work Malema's promises resonate with many, says political analyst Lebohang Pheko. (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLITICAL ANALYST LEBOHANG PHEKO SAYING: "It's a sum total of a lot of discontentment, the need for a viable alternative, many viable alternatives and certainly a level of populism which seems to resonate particularly with the working class, particularly with young people and particularly with people on the ground." But the EEF's not expected to win more than 5 percent of the votes. And the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance still appeals to mainly white voters. That leaves the ruling African National Congress - in power since white minority rule ended 20 years ago. It's expected to secure a two-thirds majority, even though the economy is struggling and its leader President Jacob Zuma is fighting a corruption scandal. Some say that will be a disaster for an economy which recently lost its economic crown in Africa to Nigeria. But the party which was led by Nelson Mandela for many years will be hard to dislodge.

Will election change South Africa?

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 - 01:54

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