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10 years after Nelson Mandela's death, his party may soon lose the majority

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon, died 10 years ago today at the age of 95. He was South Africa's first democratically elected president, and he remains a larger-than-life figure in the country. But as Kate Bartlett reports, Mandela's African National Congress party is failing to live up to his legacy. It's widely predicted to lose its majority in the upcoming election.

KATE BARTLETT, BYLINE: Kneo Mokgopa, a writer from the Nelson Mandela Foundation, described some of the current problems facing the country.

KNEO MOKGOPA: With an upward of 60% youth unemployment, the education crisis, gender-based violence, our energy crisis, young people don't feel saved, especially young people growing up in townships and other poorer areas.

BARTLETT: But despite South Africa's challenges, which most blame on the ruling ANC, this 10-year-old girl, born the year Mandela died, sums his legacy up neatly.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

OLWETU DLAMINI: I am Olwetu Dlamini. Nelson Mandela was the first Black president in South Africa, and just because of him, we live in this nice world.

BARTLETT: For NPR News, I'm Kate Bartlett in Johannesburg.

(SOUNDBITE OF OUTKAST SONG, "LIBERATION") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Kate Bartlett