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Al Jazeera reports on South African elections, 20 years into democracy

Al Jazeera reports on South African elections, 20 years into democracy

As 25 million registered South Africans prepare to go to polls on 7 May 2014, Al Jazeera will look back on 20 years of the country’s democracy.

In-depth TV and online analysis will explore what happened to the dream of a ‘rainbow nation’ and why this year’s 29-party elections are expected to be the most fiercely contested since 1994.

The African National Congress (ANC) won nearly two thirds of the vote in the last elections in 2009 and its overall majority this year is not in question. But with corruption scandals, police brutality, and service delivery protests all on the rise, the ruling party is feeling the heat, more than ever before.

Al Jazeera will have three correspondents – Azad Essa, Haru Mutasa (in photo), and Tania Page – traveling across the country, from cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg to townships like Silvertown in the Eastern Cape.

From across the political landscape, Al Jazeera English will present a detailed report card on the main issues faced by South Africans, profiling leaders and engaging voters’ expectations.

Al Jazeera will report from the final rallies on 3-4 May, the casting of special votes on 5-6 May, the Election Day on 7 May, the counting of votes, and the election announcement expected on 10 May 2014.

Al Jazeera’s coverage will explore questions like:

  • Why is the ANC rallying behind President Jacob Zuma despite an official probe finding that he personally benefited from a R246m ($22.5m) refurbishment of his Nkandla home?
  • Why have opposition parties like The Democratic Alliance in South Africa historically failed to win more than a third of the vote?
  • How is Julius Malema’s new Economic Freedom Fighters party tapping into discontent with the ANC, especially when it comes to inequality?
  • How are the political parties using social media to target the ‘Born Free’ generation who will be voting for the first time this year?
  • Is the emergence of white car-guards in Durban, who live in homeless shelters and rely on gratuities from motorists, a sign that race is becoming less of a factor in South Africa?
  • Why are government initiatives to create jobs failing to redress the economic imbalances caused by Apartheid?

Speaking about Al Jazeera’s South African election coverage, Al Anstey, managing director, Al Jazeera English, said, “The election in South Africa is very important to us and our viewers right around the globe.  Our coverage will cover all angles of the story, from our teams across the country.  We will be hearing from people from across South Africa as they decide on which way to vote, and react to the outcome of this important election.  Our comprehensive coverage will be available on all platforms and we will be engaging with our viewers throughout the election.”

The hashtags #AJSA and #SAElections will be tracked by the online team and the social media programme, The Stream.

Follow Al Jazeera’s journalists in South Africa on Twitter at @azadessa, @harumutasa and @taniapage, using the hashtags #AJSA and #SAElections to be part of the conversation.

For all the latest news, analysis and features from Al Jazeera on the South African elections, visit http://www.aljazeera.com/.

Kevin Kriedemann & Joy Sapieka

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