The African National Congress, like other political parties, has a penchant for numbers.

With South Africans preparing to vote tomorrow in the fifth general election since the dawn of democracy 20 years ago, the ruling party’s manifesto is full of them.

Since 1994 – the most historic of all South African numbers – 3.3m houses have been built; 7m households have been added to the electricity grid; nearly 5,000 (white) farms have been transferred to black farmers; 5m more people are working and GDP has grown to more than R3.5tn, the manifesto tells us. Read more

Picture: BBC News

By Adam Green of This is Africa

Is the ANC’s dominance of South African politics waning? Unhappy miners, poor service delivery and the arrival at the polls of the ‘born free’ generation (those born after 1993) have led to predictions of a decline of ANC at next year’s election. In one report this week, analysts from Nomura said the party’s share of the 2014 vote could drop to 56 per cent from 66 per cent in 2009.

Not if you listen to the new leader of the ANC Youth League, Mzwandile Masina (pictured). He believes those courting the mining vote may be wasting their time. Read more

When Cyril Ramaphosa was elected deputy president of the governing African National Congress last month his re-emergence into the top echelons of South Africa’s politics was widely welcomed.

Yet as Ramaphosa has settled into his new job, the old rifts between public and private sectors have rapidly resurfaced, laced with bellicose language. Have we enetered a new period of ANC/corporate mistrust? Read more

African National Congress (ANC) delegates, December 2012The tricky beast of nationalisation is on the agenda at the ANC’s Mangaung conference, where party members are meeting to elect leaders and discuss key decisions on critical policies.

A rejection of outright nationalisation has been set out, but analysts say that the looming alternative of higher taxation is a bitter a pill to swallow for investors and the country’s struggling mining industry. Read more

To the frustration of the mining houses operating in South Africa – including many of the world’s largest – a debate about the nationalisation of the country’s mines has ebbed and flowed, but never quite died.

This is in spite of the fact that a number of top government officials, from President Jacob Zuma down, previously insisting it was not the policy of either the government or the governing African National Congress. Read more

South African corporates are feeling the double whammy of policy uncertainty at home as the African National Congress gears up for a key conference this month, and the eurozone crisis weighing heavily on manufacturers and general sentiment.

A report on Thursday from the South African Chamber of Commerce described the situation as “Harsh Economic Realities” as it released data that showed business confidence in Africa’s largest economy had hit a 10-year low. Read more