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Opinion: Golden years, golden boards: Mike Harris's post-politics career – The Globe and Mail

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Former Ontario Premier Mike Harris at a Fraser Institute dinner at Calgary’s Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Keith Morison/CGYH

Not long after Mike Harris left the Ontario Premier’s Office in 2002, he embarked on a new career as a corporate director. Nearly two decades later, Chartwell Retirement Residences – Canada’s largest operator of retirement homes – has become his longest-running, and likely most-lucrative, part-time gig.

It might also become his most controversial. Chartwell, like many other operators of retirement and long-term care homes, is in the spotlight as COVID-19 kills thousands of Canadians, many victimized as the virus sweeps through their care facilities. This has amplified the concerns of elder advocates, who have long questioned deregulation of the long-term care industry and the proliferation of the for-profit model in retirement care. (Long-term care, specifically, is about 10 per cent of Chartwell’s business.)

As it happens, Ontario’s deregulation of the sector occurred during Mr. Harris’s “common sense revolution” of the late 1990s. And about a year after his premiership ended, he joined Chartwell’s board as its chairman.

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Through Chartwell, Mr. Harris declined to speak to me for this piece. In a statement, Chartwell spokeswoman Sharon Ranalli said Mr. Harris’s government “undertook the largest reform and investment in Ontario’s history to expand long term care for the province’s seniors … Mr. Harris’s drive and passion to provide great services and quality care to our aging population was one of the reasons he was asked to join Chartwell as Chair in 2003 and continues to serve in this capacity to this day.”

Here’s what has been in it for Mr. Harris: A review of Chartwell’s proxy circulars shows that over those 18 years, Chartwell has paid him about $3.5-million for his services, the bulk of it in Chartwell stock. It’s an average of roughly $200,000 a year for what is supposed to be a part-time job.

Those compensation numbers do not include dividends on his shares. For example, while Chartwell reported his board compensation as $229,500 in its proxy circular in 2019, stock-ownership records filed with regulators show Chartwell gave Mr. Harris shares worth $405,000 that year, when the dividends are included.

Mr. Harris must hold the shares until he leaves the board. All told, his holdings, which include shares purchased on the open market, are worth roughly $6-million today. The stock holdings “represent his personal belief in the value Chartwell provides to society and his confidence in Chartwell as a sound investment,” Ms. Ranalli said.

On several occasions from 2003 to 2014, Mr. Harris received a low-interest loan to purchase a total of roughly $600,000 in shares as part of a long-term incentive plan. Chartwell placed the shares in a special account, where the dividend payments on the shares were used to pay off the loan so Mr. Harris could own the stock free and clear. (In response to questions, Ms. Ranalli of Chartwell says these shares “are not compensation” and should not be included in his pay total.)

Also, from mid-2010 to 2019, Chartwell directors who chose to get their directors’ fees paid in stock, rather than cash, got a one-for-one additional company match – effectively doubling their pay. That meant that in each year of the plan, Mr. Harris received about $230,000 in annual compensation, rather than the roughly $115,000 in annual cash fees.

Ms. Ranalli says the company’s stock plans have created “alignment of participants with the interests of Chartwell and its unitholders,” and its outside compensation advisers have told Chartwell the company’s pay plans are “at or slightly below” similarly sized companies.

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To focus too much on Chartwell, however, would overlook how Mr. Harris turned corporate-board work into a highly lucrative full-time career.

A review of corporate filings shows Mr. Harris has sat on at least 16 public- or private-company boards at various times in the 18 years since he left the premier’s job and made more than $14-million in compensation for his work. For several years, he sat on six or seven company boards and his total board income ranged from $1.2-million to $1.5-million annually. (In recent years, governance advocates have increasingly trained their eye on “overboarded” directors, who they felt couldn’t devote an appropriate amount of time to every board they sat on if they had four or more assignments.)

For several board seats, he collected more than $1-million in cash and stock over his tenure, including his current seat Canaccord Genuity Group Inc., held since 2004, and Colliers International Group Inc. He may also have received as much from EnMax, the City of Calgary’s utility, where he served from 2006 to 2017 and received total of nearly $800,000 in his final eight years on the board.

Mr. Harris’s history as a director shows that he likes to be paid in stock and stock options. That means that Mr. Harris has probably taken home even more than $14-million: Over time, as the stock has grown in value, he’s presumably sold shares after leaving boards (and when disclosure requirements no longer apply, making the numbers impossible to tally).

Some of the companies failed to assign any value to his stock options, thereby understating his pay at the time. In several cases at tiny public companies, the options expired unused, because the company’s stock simply didn’t do so well. One example: Route 1 Inc., a money-losing, TSX Venture Exchange-listed data-security company where he received a combined three million stock options soon after becoming chairman in 2009. Had the company boomed, it could have been his most lucrative directorship. Alas, all those options expired with no value.

But other directorships have been winners. Mr. Harris spent five years on the board of what is now known as Element Fleet Management. He received stock options initially valued at just under $400,000 – but when he left in April, 2015, the unrealized profits were about $1.5-million.

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Previous to Chartwell, Mr. Harris’s most-lucrative public-company gig was Magna International Inc., his first board assignment after leaving office. He served as its chairman during the controversial period when Magna cashed out its founder Frank Stronach for more than $1-billion; the sheer number of meetings Mr. Harris attended helped his compensation range from $550,000 to $750,000 four years in a row.

Mr. Harris left Magna’s board in 2012, and he has a lighter load today than in his peak years of service. He turns 76 on Saturday, and he’s already been forced to offer his resignation at Canaccord because of its age-based retirement policy, an offer that Canaccord’s board has declined. But as Mr. Harris continues his golden years of gold-plated board service, he may decide the challenges will outweigh these very considerable rewards.

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Donald Trump's political organization builds war chest topping $100 million – CNN

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Trump’s fundraising haul speaks to his continued ability to raise money from small-dollar donors online, as he trumpets baseless claims that election fraud led to his loss last year.
Trump’s team said 3.2 million contributions flowed into the former President’s political committees during the first six months of the year.
In a statement, Trump once again complained of a “stolen” election and cited the donations as a sign that millions of Americans “share my outrage and want me to continue to fight for the truth.”
Trump’s fundraising apparatus includes two political action committees: Save America, a leadership PAC, and the Make America Great Again PAC, along with a separate joint fundraising committee.
Most of Trump’s cash reserves are stockpiled in his Save America leadership PAC, with $90 million remaining in its accounts as of June 30, new filings show — giving the Republican a large sum to unleash as his party seeks to seize control of the House and Senate in next year’s midterm elections. Trump also has hinted at seeking the White House again in 2024, and the new numbers show he remains the GOP’s dominant fundraising figure, despite losing the election and access to social media platforms.
In announcing his fundraising totals, which were first reported by Politico, on Saturday, Trump’s team said his committees had raised nearly $82 million in the first six months of the year, but that total also included funds collected in 2020 that were transferred into his account this year.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller on Sunday said the transfers were included because they amounted to “all new revenues to Save America for this period.”
Save America is the former President’s primary fundraising and public relations vehicle, and he uses it to issue statements endorsing his favored candidates and denouncing those he opposes. But the PAC had not contributed to any congressional candidates during the first six months of the year, according to its filings with the Federal Election Commission. Miller told CNN that checks began going out to endorsed candidates in July, after the period covered by the new filings.
Leadership PACs such as Save America have a cap on donations, but federal rules impose few restrictions on how their contributions can be spent. And during the first six months of the year, the PAC spent about $68,000 for lodging and meals at the Trump Hotel Collection, according to records.
Trump has also endorsed a super PAC, Make America Great Again Action. The super PAC’s filing Saturday night shows it took in a little more than $5 million as of June 30. Individual donors include Don Ahern, a Nevada businessman who contributed $1 million, former Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler at $250,000 and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell at $100,000. Lindell has been on a mission to advance claims that widespread fraud contributed to Trump’s defeat.
The super PAC recently has begun spending to boost Trump-favored candidates — pumping $100,000 into an unsuccessful attempt in July to help elect Texas Republican Susan Wright in a special runoff for a US House seat. Wright lost to fellow Republican Jake Ellzey.
Another GOP primary on Tuesday — this time for a US House seat from Ohio — will offer the latest test of Trump’s ability to sway voters. Make America Great Again Action has spent more than $400,000 so far to promote Trump’s choice, coal lobbyist Mike Carey, in the Columbus-area special election.
This story has been updated with additional information.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the amount of contributions to Trump’s political committees. It is 3.2 million contributions.

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Biden's Buy American push is good politics but bad economics – CNN

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And he took a small step toward ensuring Washington can upgrade less of it.
That step backward came with Biden’s move last week to stiffen requirements that federal government purchases be limited to products made in the United States — even if they’re more expensive. Thus he followed the grooves set by both Democratic and Republican predecessors, who have consistently embraced crowd-pleasing “buy American” stances that make economists groan.
“Counter-productive,” cautioned Melissa Kearney, a University of Maryland professor who favors much of Biden’s economic agenda. “It really makes some of the administration’s other goals harder to achieve.”
Biden acted to strengthen the nearly-a-century-old Buy American Act, whose provenance alone hints at shaky economic foundations. It was signed into law by former President Herbert Hoover, who had earlier signed the Smoot-Hawley protective tariffs at the dawn of the Great Depression.
That association has not diminished its political appeal as America’s economy over the decades has become steadily more integrated with the rest of the world. Former President Ronald Reagan signed a companion law as America lost industrial jobs in the 1980s.
Former President Barack Obama incorporated Buy American provisions into his 2009 stimulus plan in response to the Great Recession. And Buy American provided a natural component for former President Donald Trump’s pledge to “Make America Great Again.”
Trump signed a series of executive orders advancing the theme. But as with steps taken by earlier presidents, they allowed ample room for such exemptions as complying with international trade agreements and permitting purchase of some foreign-made goods when suitable domestic alternatives were unavailable.
Now Biden — who has placed revival of American manufacturing at the center of his economic agenda — has moved to limit that wiggle room. Proposed rules he announced last week would boost the minimum value of American-made components in products purchased with taxpayer dollars to 60% from 55% immediately, and to 75% over time.
In the name of national security, the administration would enlarge price preferences for some American-made “critical products and components.” It would simultaneously strengthen reporting requirements for federal suppliers to demonstrate the domestic content of their products.
“It’s not lip service,” said William Reinsch, a former Commerce Department official under President Bill Clinton now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “It’s a genuine effort to change the rules.”
By demonstrating America’s reliance on China and other foreign sources for medical supplies, the coronavirus pandemic has fueled the effort. Even economists who celebrate free-market forces acknowledge that Buy America policies make sense in limited circumstances to protect vital national interests.
“It’s a question of scope,” said Kyle Pomerleau of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. He worries that Biden’s policy — which has not yet specified what it considers “critical components and products” — will be too broad.
Heather Boushey, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, defended Buy American by noting “mission critical” objectives it can advance. One example: stocking the federal government’s fleet with domestic-made electric vehicles can accelerate a sector crucial for competing economically and fighting climate change.
“I do not think it’s bad economics,” Boushey said. “Everything in balance.”

‘It’s like being for puppies’

No one doubts that it’s good politics. As Biden seeks to recapture the allegiance of some Trump-friendly blue-collar workers, Buy American policies fare “extremely well” among voters, observed Democratic pollster Mark Mellman.
“It’s like being for puppies,” cracked Republican counterpart Glen Bolger. In fact, Bolger added, the idea that Washington can boost the domestic economy through federal purchasing power strikes plenty of Americans as too good to be true.
They have some basis for skepticism. In 2018, the Government Accountability Office found that foreign-made products exempt from the Buy American Act made up just 4% of federal government purchases the previous year.
That makes the sphere of economic activity affected by Biden’s initiative fairly small even if it achieves its intended goals.
“You’re talking about $300 billion of goods in a $22 trillion economy,” Reinsch concluded. “The question is whether it’s going to change very much.”
To that extent, the added costs Buy American initiatives impose threaten less economic havoc than protectionism in other forms, such as import tariffs. Jason Furman, who chaired Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, considers relative harmlessness an argument in their favor.
“The ratio of good politics to bad economics,” Furman said, “might make it fully justified.”

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ANC factions stir ‘dangerous politics’ in South Africa’s towns – Financial Times

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Thapelo Mohapi looks at the mangled and scorched scraps of what were once shacks and reflects quietly that, at 38, twice now have the flames of political violence in South Africa left him without a home.

The first time, as a boy in the 1980s, Mohapi was given shelter by Indian neighbours in the Durban settlement of Phoenix when the brutal last days of apartheid engulfed the nearby black township where he lived. It was part of solidarity that would in time give rise to a multiracial democracy. “The Indian community never said at any stage that you are not part of us,” he says. 

The second time was the night of July 14. As riots and looting sparked by a power struggle in the ruling African National Congress swept heartland regions, destroyed businesses and left more than 300 dead, a fire burnt through the homes of Mohapi and hundreds of others in an informal settlement in Durban’s Briardene suburb. “The fire brigade couldn’t reach it in time because of the unrest,” Mohapi says. For now, he is living in a friend’s car and in donated clothes.

What President Cyril Ramaphosa labelled an “attempted insurrection” in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, two provinces that make up half of the gross domestic product of Africa’s most industrial nation and nearly half of its population, was only put down with the deployment of tens of thousands of troops.

Rescuers search burnt-out premises in the aftermath of the riots and looting in Mobeni, Durban. The widespread violence destroyed businesses and left more than 300 dead © AFP via Getty Images

The violence had begun as reprisals for the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of court — a victory for the rule of law and the country’s democratic principles under Ramaphosa. Zuma had defied a constitutional court order to attend an inquiry examining his role in corruption so widespread that it hollowed out institutions under his presidency, according to the testimony of dozens of witnesses. He was forced to resign in 2018.

After winning the ANC leadership in 2017 by a narrow margin, Ramaphosa stabilised the party’s decades-long grip on power in a 2019 election and has slowly isolated his predecessor’s closest allies. But the unrest signals that he is confronting a faction who in order to avoid jail are prepared to sacrifice a weakened state — and manipulate social divisions.

Phoenix, Mohapi’s old refuge, was also swept up in the fallout. As police vanished amid looting, tragedy unfolded in a microcosm of South Africa’s complex race relations. As street barricades were thrown up against looters, armed vigilantes emerged and “people that had lived side-by-side in relative peace turned on each other”, Ramaphosa said last week. At least 20 people were killed in the clashes in a township that is majority Indian but where many black South Africans live and work.

The number of economically inactive South Africans has increased, Annual % change and number of economically inactive (m)

The looting was a threat without police on the ground but “in the racial profiling of our African brothers and sisters, some took the law into their own hands — and they were gangsters,” Marvin Govender, general secretary of Phoenix’s residents association, says. 

The state was absent, failing to stop both the vigilantes and the looting, Govender says. Chris Biyela, the convener of a post-unrest Phoenix peace committee, agrees that “if the government responded forcefully in this manner, many lives would have been saved”.

In the chaos of the ANC’s factional battle, even the fire in Briardene appears suspect. Mohapi is a spokesman for Abahlali baseMjondolo, a movement that represents informal dwellers. With 100,000 members, it is a fierce critic of the ANC and has often received threats. The day before the fire, Abahlali released a statement that blamed “people who are pushing the agenda of the Zuma faction in the chaos”.

Police officers arrest a looter in Johannesburg. Truck burnings shut down South Africa’s major food supply route between Durban and Johannesburg
Police officers arrest a looter in Johannesburg. Truck burnings shut down South Africa’s major food supply route between Durban and Johannesburg © Guillem Sartorio/AFP via Getty Images

The group also fell victim to attempts to stir up a race war when a statement it issued calling for calm in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal’s largest city, was doctored with anti-Muslim vitriol, and then spread on WhatsApp.

With mounds of garbage choking the air and broken sanitation, the state has failed Briardene’s informal settlement dwellers. Mohapi has every reason to be cynical about the country’s post-1994 gains. But after what he sees as an assault from within the ANC “to divide the poorest from the poor” and destroy the basis of South Africa’s freedom and its unfinished racial reconciliation, he is more determined than ever to defend them.

“Nelson Mandela would be turning in his grave. This is not what he fought for,” he says. “We can’t be taken back to where we were. We can’t sacrifice that because one man is in prison.”

A warning from history

South Africa received a prophetic warning as far back as 1997 that one day the difficult transition to democracy might be betrayed from within.

Such an attack, the document said, would involve “setting up intelligence and armed networks parallel to and within the state to sabotage change through direct political activity or aggravation of such social problems as crime”, and erosion of governance through “deliberate acts of corruption driven not merely by greed”.

Line chart of GDP per capita ($ in 2010 terms) showing Real per capita income in South Africa is back at 2005 levels

The prophet was the ANC itself — and while the warning was a reference to those still clinging on to apartheid, it accurately describes how decay of the state under the party has created forces that led to insurrection.

Systematic looting of state institutions during the Zuma presidency is well documented. Less visible has been the culture of impunity that was allowed to grow at the bottom, as police and other authorities were compromised by their political masters.

“The whole state has been criminalised,” Mary de Haas, an expert on KwaZulu-Natal’s political violence, says. “We had corruption, but we have been criminalised in the last 10 years . . . there are all sorts of mafia and criminal networks that would jump on this bandwagon.”

The impunity has spread to threaten investments needed to restart the stagnant economy, particularly in Zuma’s home province. In June, Rio Tinto was forced to suspend mineral sands mining in KwaZulu-Natal after security threats and the murder of a manager. From construction to security, businesses in the region say they are used to gangs with alleged ANC links demanding a cut. Ramaphosa admitted recently that extortion rackets have already begun targeting reconstruction following the unrest. 

Armed community members gather at a road block in Phoenix, Durban. Local resident Thapelo Mohapi says of the riots: ‘Nelson Mandela would be turning in his grave. This is not what he fought for’
Armed community members gather at a roadblock in Phoenix, Durban. Local resident Thapelo Mohapi says of the riots: ‘Nelson Mandela would be turning in his grave. This is not what he fought for’ © Guillem Sartorio/AFP via Getty Images

“There is very little crime intelligence coming from this province,” de Haas says. Intelligence officials “admit that the whole thing is factionalised. Then you get to national intelligence, and that’s even worse. Zuma captured the whole of intelligence, basically.”

An official 2018 report warned of “politicisation and factionalisation of the civilian intelligence community based on the factions in the ANC”, including “serious criminality” in the embezzlement of cash. The state capture inquiry heard this year that a rogue spy unit with a direct line to Zuma was used to target his political opponents.

Such testimony appears to have infuriated the former president. “Every country has its own secrets and things that are not publicly spoken about,” Zuma told supporters at Nkandla, his homestead in rural KwaZulu-Natal, before his arrest for defying the inquiry. His supporters fired off weapons and threatened police, before Zuma was taken into custody by his own state protection in the dead of night.

Senior ANC politicians were still arguing that Zuma should be freed even as the violence spread.

Income inequality in South Africa has deepened, share of national income (%)

“The politicians and their cronies are attempting to brew and encourage a very, very dangerous politics that is building fear and anger with the aim of dividing people along lines of nationality of origin, ethnicity and race,” the Abahlali group says.

Food as a political weapon

The most chilling part of what Ramaphosa called “deliberate, well-planned and co-ordinated” targeting of infrastructure in the unrest were attacks that seemed tailored to exploit South Africa’s inequality, especially insecurities over food. Truck burnings shut down a major food supply route, the motorway between Durban and Johannesburg, Gauteng’s provincial capital. Supermarkets were attacked and then their distribution centres hit.

“It really dawned on me when I realised that not only were the warehouses being emptied out [by looters], they were also attacking the packaging industry . . . one of the big aims was to bring access to food to its knees,” says Mervyn Abrahams, co-ordinator of Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity, an NGO based near Durban. “You are creating conflict between those who are poor and those who are middle class just to access the food that is available.”

Activists in KwaZulu-Natal say soldiers and police reinforcements came just in time to stop the total collapse of the supply chain and prevent an even worse second wave of riots driven by those who might not have eaten in days.

The violence began as reprisals for the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of court
The violence began as reprisals for the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of court © Yeshiel Panchia/EPA-EFE

It reflected another facet of South Africa’s absent state, worsened by the pandemic — a hunger crisis that has silently swept the poorest, as social protection has fallen short and the economy has sputtered.

GDP per capita has flatlined since Zuma’s presidency and unemployment has soared, with 43 per cent of the working age population without a job or discouraged from looking for one at the start of this year. Even many of those with jobs are in a precarious position. Around half of the average minimum wage worker’s monthly pay of about 3,600 rand ($247) is eaten up by transport and electricity costs even before food bills, estimates Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity. A safety net of welfare grants, covering about 18m people, has also grown threadbare and no longer reflects the cost of living.

In July, a basic nutritious diet for a South African child for the month was estimated to cost about R724, or about $50. The monthly child support grant is R460. Stunting rates in children — an indication of malnutrition — have remained stubbornly high since 1994, at about a quarter or more. The effects are felt decades later, in poor school results, a life on the margins of the job market and long-term health problems. “Each year we reap what was sown 30 or 25 years ago,” Abrahams says.

Cyril Ramaphosa. Some senior ANC politicians were still arguing that the president should pardon Zuma even as the recent violence was spreading
Cyril Ramaphosa. Some senior ANC politicians were still arguing that the president should pardon Zuma even as the recent violence was spreading © Emmanuel Croset/AFP via Getty Images

Saddled with high debts that are approaching 90 per cent of GDP, Ramaphosa’s government bet on riding out a series of pandemic lockdowns with minimal fiscal relief. This only prolonged the agony. In July, the country’s treasury reinstated a temporary monthly grant of R350 for the jobless that it had cut just months earlier. It will last until March.

After the unrest’s wake-up call, civil society is pushing for more permanent transfers. A basic income grant for South Africa’s 11m unemployed would cost R78bn a year if it paid out just enough per month to keep them above the food poverty line of R585, according to the Institute for Economic Justice, a Johannesburg-based think-tank. But the middle class is likely to balk at the tax rises needed to pay for this, or additional borrowing for larger grants. 

“We pay for all of this in other ways in the economy,” Abrahams says. Millions have moved to shacks in the midst of major cities to find work. This proximity is part of why the unrest flared so quickly. “Now ‘the poor’ are right on our doorstep. Higher walls and more security are really not going to protect us.” 

July marked the 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s post-prison election as leader of a very different ANC, as apartheid was crumbling and a new democracy was being born
July marked the 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s post-prison election as leader of a very different ANC, as apartheid was crumbling and a new democracy was being born © Walter Dhladhla/AFP via Getty Images

Had a safety net been in place, even with political instigation of the riots, “would they have been able to get so many people in the townships to support them, just because they wanted to get food?” asks Abrahams. “It would not have happened at the scale it has now.”

‘Crying for bread’

Organisers in communities across South Africa worry that poverty is about to get much worse in the aftermath of the unrest. “Those who did not loot, do not have food now,” Mohapi says. “People are crying for bread.”

Acts of solidarity have helped residents in Briardene. A Muslim charity has delivered bread and milk. Tents provided by Doctors Without Borders and Abahlali house dozens who were displaced by the shack fire. But private initiatives alone cannot replace the state.

“I’m afraid that the solidarity that had been built, particularly at the bottom of our society, will be placed under huge pressure in the context of what has happened,” says Imraan Buccus, an analyst with the Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute. “We need to be on the lookout. We are at a fragile point in our democratic post-apartheid phase. Our state has not done what it needed to do.”

People queue for basic food items  in Durban. A local NGO leader, Mervyn Abrahams,  says ‘one of the big aims [of the looters] was to bring access to food to its knees’
People queue for basic food items in Durban. A local NGO leader, Mervyn Abrahams, says ‘one of the big aims [of the looters] was to bring access to food to its knees’ © Rajesh Jantilal/AFP via Getty Images

July also marked the 30th anniversary of Mandela’s post-prison election as leader of a very different ANC, as apartheid was crumbling and a new democracy was being born. Joining Mandela as party secretary-general and deputy to that role were two politicians of the next generation: Ramaphosa and Zuma. One all but destroyed Mandela’s governing legacy; the other is running out of time to restore it.

Ramaphosa’s first term as party leader is now all but over. The next leadership vote is due at the end of 2022. Most agree that he will probably just about secure a second term. If so, KwaZulu-Natal, the region with the most ANC members, is not a province easily defied. Zuma is in prison at least for the next few months and his acolytes who inflamed tensions may soon join him. But his politics of impunity and patronage live on.

“There is a reluctance on the part of the ANC. They are scared. They don’t want to rock the boat in this province,” de Haas says. “There are a hell of a lot of people who have a lot to lose if the ANC cleans up its act.”

Ordinary South Africans lost even more in the unrest. From below, their anger is growing. “The ANC is rotten and it should be removed. It does not represent the ideals of Mandela,” Mohapi says. Otherwise, he fears, “we are heading for disaster. We will have riots after riots.”

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