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No ANC fistifuffs?

Andrew Harding | 12:31 UK time, Wednesday, 22 September 2010

ANC leaders

So much for the fireworks... South Africa's ruling party seems to have managed, more or less, to crack the whip over its feuding factions and prevent this week's African National Congress National General Council meeting in Durban from turning into a public fistfight. Round one to President Jacob Zuma.

Still, the party has acknowledged at least some of the huge challenges it faces - not so much in holding onto power, but in tackling corruption and delivering on its many promises.

Foreign investors may be relieved to note that the explosive issue of whether, and how, to nationalise the country's mines seems to have been kicked into touch.

It's always struck me as odd - well, more than odd - that the ANC's Youth League should be the one leading the charge for nationalisation. Shouldn't it be focusing on the crisis in education, skills shortages and the crippling lack of jobs available for young South African school leavers? This article is one of the best I've seen on the mines issue.

While the delegates are now cloistered in policy huddles, the party is trying harder than usual to keep the media firmly on the outside. The leaks continue, but relations between the ANC and journalists are not good.

Some of the party's scandalously self-serving plans to curtail press freedom may end up getting watered down, but a new media tribunal looks likely to get strong backing in Durban.


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