View in browser


Elections 2024     |     Fri 12 Jul

A month ago, we sacrificed two hours to our TV screens, held at the mercy of one man and his manicured speech.

The State of the Nation address frustrated so many of us because it dispensed with any remaining veneer that the event should be a useful tool in a functioning democracy. It killed the notion that we might use the occasion to give an honest assessment of South Africa; that the time, energy, and funds spent on the day bought something beyond the pomp and pageantry.

In a country that has a troubling vein of apathy running through it, the president’s decision to default to a campaign pitch was deeply irresponsible.

But, mercifully, a democracy is not one man – a fact we must constantly remind ourselves of.

That determination found us in Polokwane this week, where – along with the respected, professional staff of the University of Limpopo – we hosted the first of our election townhall discussions this year.

The stage gave an opportunity to civil society, business, academia, the political world, and the voter, to demand answers from each other and plot our road forward.

With the panel faced with – what we might euphemistically call – a passionate audience, it was not a cozy discussion. But it was a necessary one.

As we creep closer to May 29 we want to keep this philosophy at the forefront at the forefront of everything we do. Just like the president, we, the media, is accountable to you.

Yours in solidarity,
Luke Feltham


WATCH | Charting the future in 2024’s landmark elections

The Mail & Guardian, in partnership with the University of Limpopo, hosted an election town hall meeting on 12 March 2024. It's the first of what we hope will be many upcoming town hall meetings for these elections and more in the future.


WATCH | One-on-one interview with EFF’s Julius Malema

EFF leader, Julius Malema, sat down with the Mail & Guardian’s Lizeka Tandwa, for a one-on-one interview. It was fiery.

Social policies proposed by the ANC, DA and EFF converge

Since the inception of South Africa’s democratic dispensation, the biggest challenge has been about bridging the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Who has the better policy?


94 03 11 Mgpage01
Our M&G cover from 11-17 March 1994 – preparing you for the elections. “A handy guide on how to avoid muggers, buy bullet-proof vests and figure our the difference between IEC and IMC”


Just a week before South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994 the Mail & Guardian published an editorial not only praising but identifying the ANC as the only possible solution for South Africa.

At the time, the world was waiting to see if racial reconciliation, which had proven so difficult in so many countries, was possible, and whether our country could defy its history and become a symbol of hopeful and peaceful change.

What we were looking for was a government which understood market forces of the post-Cold War world and the imperative for economic growth, but was able to turn these to the task of development, job creation and the provision of basic services.

We were concerned with which market policies were going to prevail in these endeavours; free market leanings of the Democratic party, social democracy of the ANC, or the socialism of the Pan Africanist Congress.

To get to the essence of these questions: would the election bring real and substantial change? Will it start a process of development to overcome apartheid’s terrible heritage of inequality and impoverishment?

At the time, the M&G felt the ANC was the only party that had thrown its weight behind reconstruction and development appropriately and had an extensive plan to achieve it. That plan was not without its flaws, but it was the best one as we went to the polls.

Read the original editorial here: 


So where are the big three 30 years later?

Graphic Biz Manifestos

Amid South Africa’s deep socio-economic divides, political parties refine their social policies for the 2024 elections. The ANC, DA, and EFF focus on expanding social grants and introducing basic income support, targeting the nation’s poorest.

With ambitious promises from increasing grant amounts to leveraging technology for distribution, each party aims to sway voters by addressing poverty and inequality.

As the election nears, their proposals reflect a critical battleground for voter support, underscoring the urgent need for effective social safety nets.

Read the full piece by M&G political editor Lizeka Tandwa here: 



Our newsletters

Subscribe & support independent journalism

Our commitment at the Mail & Guardian is to ensure every reader enjoys the finest experience. Join the M&G community and support us in delivering in-depth news to you consistently.

Subscribers get access to all premium articles & features, amongst other benifits.

Africa's Better Future

Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Facebook   /  Instagram   /  X   /  TikTok   /  LinkedIn   /  YouTube /  WhatsApp Channel
>> Forward to a friend >>
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Unsubscribe from this newsletter by updating preferences
Unsubscribe from all M&G Newsletters