South Africa. In January, the government appointed a commission to investigate the dramatic currency exchange rate in 2001, when the rand lost 37% of its value. According to the government’s assessment, there was no economic logic behind the depreciation, and the general view was that the rand had become a victim of speculation in the international currency market.
According to Countryaah website, national day of South Africa is every December 11. The Commission found that extensive transactions carried out by Deutsche Bank on behalf of three South African companies could have affected the rand exchange rate but could not prove that something illegal had taken place. General uncertainty in the market was also considered to have contributed to the breed, as well as among other things. the global economic downturn following the terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001 and the proximity to the crisis-hit Zimbabwe.
The economy recovered quite well during the year. Due to the weak rand, the trade surplus increased sharply and the rand rose by about 20% against the bottom listing in 2001. In an attempt to curb unexpectedly high inflation of almost 10%, the central bank raised the interest rate in installments by 4 percentage points to 13.5%.
The Constitutional Court, South Africa’s highest legal body, ordered the state to provide Nevirapine medicine to all pregnant women. The government had shown great skepticism about Nevirapine, which is considered to halve the risk of HIV-infected pregnant women spreading the virus to their children. Every ninth South African is estimated to be infected with HIV or sick with AIDS and every year at least 70,000 infected children are born.
The government announced in October that it plans to almost double the cost of combating AIDS in 2003 from about SEK 1 billion to SEK 1.8 billion.
The apartheid era often reminded itself. In April, a Pretoria judge acquitted the apartheid regime’s expert on biological and chemical warfare, Wouter Basson, who was charged with developing methods for poisoning the white regime’s political opponents. The verdict shocked the apartheid opponents and the state immediately announced its intention to push the case forward.
Relatives of victims of apartheid filed a lawsuit in New York in April against US and Swiss banks accused of supporting the apartheid regime. In Cape Town, a similar, collective lawsuit was filed against the South African state for delaying promised financial compensation.
1996 Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Also in 1996, the so-called Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up under the chairmanship of Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu. It began to gather testimony of the human rights violations made during the period 1960-93. A myriad of offenses came to light in light of the case. Commission investigations. Several senior police officers admitted the use of torture in the 1980s as well as the hiring of mercenaries. Those responsible had the right to request amnesty at any time simply by conceding their own participation in the events.
The government unveiled a new macroeconomic strategy that would form the basis for the creation of 800,000 new jobs in the period up to the year 2000. The aim was to reduce the budget deficit and attract foreign investment. However, it was labeled by the trade unions as “neoliberal”. Mandela admitted that privatizations were the basic instrument of his economic policy. GDP increased by 3% in 1996. At year-end, unemployment was 32.6%. By the end of November, about 2 million hectares had been distributed as part of the government’s land reform.
In October 1997, Mandela made a trip to Libya to mediate in the Tripoli, Washington and London conflict over the blockade the latter two had sustained against Libya since 1992. Mandela supported Libya’s demand for the conduct of a lawsuit in a neutral country regarding. 2 Libyans alleged participation in the bombing of a plane over Lockerbie in 1989. However, he did not demand the unconditional lifting of the blockade.
Faced with the ever-increasing crime rate, Mandela in April 1998 hinted at the possibility of imposing curfews in some parts of the country to maintain law and order.
In his farewell speech to the OAU in June 1998, Mandela decided to break one of the basic principles and non-intervention of the single organization in the internal affairs of the member states. For defended “the right and the duty to intervene in internal affairs when massacres of citizens to defend a tyranny”.
During hearings in the Reconciliation Commission, it was revealed in 1998 that a number of white scientists under the apartheid regime had been working on plans to destroy Mandela’s health when he was a political prisoner, and to further develop diseases that would only affect the black population or drugs that would limit their fertility.
The black population began to manifest its dissatisfaction with the slowness of change in the country, and the number of attacks on white landowners and landowners increased. During the ANC Congress, Mandela and his Vice President Thabo Mbeki declared that the formal reconciliation period should be considered completed when Mandela’s presidential term is complete. During the second term of the ANC, more drastic steps should be taken to improve the living conditions of the millions of blacks who had been marginalized during apartheid.
In April 1999, Russia and South Africa – two of the world’s largest producers of gold and diamonds – signed an agreement on closer economic cooperation in the production of these goods.
Although the parliamentary elections in June gave the ANC solid control over parliament, control did not reach the 2/3 of seats needed to unilaterally change the constitution. The leadership of the opposition in parliament remained in the hands of the White Democratic Party. Thabo Mbeki received the presidential nomination from Mandela and appointed Jacob Zuma as its vice president.
Corruption suspects arrested
Six main suspects in a corruption scandal involving the equivalent of 15 million US dollars have been arrested. A seventh person involved in the case handed himself over to the police the day after the arrests. The indictment covers 60 counts, including embezzlement, corruption and money laundering in connection with a tax-financed asbestos remediation project in the province of Free State. One of the accused, a businessman, has admitted that he has on several occasions made payments to high-ranking representatives within the ruling ANC party, including the current Minister of Health. The information has emerged during the work of the so-called Zondo Commission. The Commission investigates corruption during ex-President Jacob Zuma’s years in power and was appointed in 2018 (see 20 August 2018).
Unemployment reaches a new record
The proportion of unemployed South Africans now amounts to 42 percent. A total of 2.2 million jobs have been lost during the corona pandemic and many unemployed people have stopped looking for new jobs. In the tourism industry alone, 600,000 jobs have disappeared.
The restrictions ease and the borders open
As the number of infections decreases, South Africa lifts the restrictions that were introduced to protect the population from covid-19. In a speech to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa says most of the remaining restrictions will be lifted in whole or in part on September 20. The international borders will gradually open from 1 October. The compulsion to wear a face mask in public environments remains. According to the Minister of Health, an estimated 12 million, or one-fifth of the population, have been infected with covid-19. Just over 15,000 have died.
Human rights activist George Bizos dies
One of the country’s foremost human rights lawyers, George Bizos, dies. Bizos was Nelson Mandela’s defense attorney in the so-called Rivonia trial in the early 1960s. George Bizos turned 92 years old.
Halved economy in the wake of covid-19
South Africa’s GDP was halved in the second quarter due to the country’s strict closure that took place from the end of March when the corona pandemic began to spread. The crisis has led to many companies being forced to close, lay off staff or reduce wages, and never before has the country’s GDP fallen so sharply. South Africa is the country in Africa that has been hardest hit by covid-19. About 640,000 South Africans have been infected and over 15,000 have died. The situation has recently improved and the number of new infections is decreasing compared to before.