A Historic Election in South Africa: Implications for Its Foreign and Economic Policies

In South Africa’s parliamentary elections held recently, the African National Congress (ANC) lost its majority in the national parliament for the first time since rising to power following apartheid in 1994. As a result, the ANC is forced to form a coalition government with rival parties for the first time in its history. 

We discussed how a new coalition government might impact South Africa’s foreign policy and its outward-facing economic policies post-election, including its views toward the ongoing great power rivalry involving the US, China, and Russia, its international legal challenge to the war in Gaza, and US-South Africa bilateral ties. Ziyanda Stuurman, Senior Analyst for southern Africa at the Eurasia Group, and Dr. Kingsley Makhubela, a former South African ambassador, participated in the conversation. Sarang Shidore, Director of the Global South program at the Quincy Institute, moderated.


Ziyanda Stuurman

Ziyanda Stuurman is Senior Analyst for southern Africa at the Eurasia Group, where she analyzes political and economic developments with a focus on South Africa, Mozambique and Angola. She tracks policy trends in the region, focusing on macroeconomics, security, trade and energy. Ziyanda has been a policy researcher in the South African Parliament, and she has worked as an advisor on policymaking with a development economics think tank based at the University of Cape Town. Ziyanda holds a BA in political science from Stellenbosch University, an MA in security studies from Sussex University, and an MA in international development from Brandeis University.

Kingsley Makhubela

Kingsley Makhubela is a former South African diplomat who served as ambassador to Portugal and Kenya. He also served as special envoy to conflict areas of Sudan, Somalia and Comoros. He previously served as Director General of the Department of Tourism and Chief Executive of Brand South Africa, the country's brand management agency. He is a founding member of a consulting agency, RiskRecon, which provides political, social and economic risk analysis to private and public sector leaders. Dr. Makhubela holds a Masters Degree in diplomatic studies and a PhD in political science from the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

Sarang Shidore

Sarang Shidore is Director of the Global South Program at the Quincy Institute, and a senior non-resident fellow at the Council on Strategic Risks. He is also a member of the adjunct faculty at George Washington University, where he teaches a class on the geopolitics of climate change. His areas of research and analysis are geopolitical risk, grand strategy, and climate security, with a special emphasis on the Global South and Asia. Sarang has more than 100 publications to his credit in journals, edited volumes, and media outlets in his areas of expertise, including in Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, The Nation, South China Morning Post, Council on Foreign Relations and others.