Is the DA’s Western Cape Story a ‘good story to tell’?


Helen Zille, the leader of South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance, says her party has the “best story to tell” ahead of the 2014 general elections.

Earlier this month, the DA launched a campaign that drew heavily on its performance in the Western Cape, the only one of South Africa’s nine provinces that is not held by the governing African National Congress.

The DA maintains that the “Western Cape Story” highlights the “great strides made in the province since 2009” and “really is a good story to tell”, one that could become “South Africa’s story” if the party comes to power.

In a video released on 7 March, the DA set out many of the claims that are key to the “Western Cape Story”. Africa Check investigated them.

Read the full report on the Africa Check website.

Does South Africa’s Democratic Alliance really deliver? Africa Check assesses their claims


Last month, Africa Check published a column which questioned the sourcing of various pre-election claims being made on Twitter by South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance (DA).

The DA’s then social media manager, Alex Molteno, said the party strives to ensure that any claims its makes are accurate and added that if Africa Check “finds that any of these statistics are inaccurate, we will gladly rectify them.”

Many of the DA’s claims relate to its performance in the Western Cape, the only province in the country that is not held by the governing African National Congress. This report – the first of two on the DA – evaluates a number of key claims made by the party on Twitter using the hashtag #DADelivers.

Read the full report on the Africa Check website.

President Jacob Zuma’s 2014 State of the Nation address fact-checked


By their very nature, State of the Nation addresses are tricky to fact-check. They are written by committees, the product of many hands and input from many government departments and agencies. The facts and figures that make the final cut are carefully selected and often stripped of nuance and context to present the most positive picture possible.

This was President Jacob Zuma’s fifth State of the Nation address and the last of his current term. You can read his full speech here.

Being an election year, Zuma’s speech borrowed heavily from the African National Congress manifesto and reflected on the ANC’s claimed achievements over the past five years and twenty years. Viewed in isolation, many of the numbers he presented stand up. But they often lack context. We have endeavoured, as best we can, to evaluate Zuma’s claims within a broader context.

This is a look at some of the key claims that were made.

Read the full report on the Africa Check website.

Deputy president’s speech downplayed the level of child hunger in South Africa


Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe claimed recently that child hunger has been reduced significantly in South Africa since 1994.

“In 1994, over 25% of households with children said they had gone hungry at some point or another. In 2012, the figure had fallen to 6,5% — still unacceptably high, but a vast improvement nonetheless,” Motlanthe said in a speech at the Mail and Guardian’s “20 Years of Economic Transformation Summit” in Johannesburg.

Has there been a “vast improvement”? And is the comparison between 1994 and 2012 an accurate one? We set out to investigate.

Read the full report on the Africa Check website.

Why it is wrong to call South Africa or any country the ‘rape capital of the world’


Where is the “rape capital of the world”? Is it South Africa or the Democratic Republic of Congo? What does the phrase even mean? A reader asked us to investigate the claims.

Read the report on the Africa Check website. It was also published on the Daily Maverick and the Mail and Guardian.

False claims and inaccuracies call SA provincial Premier’s CV into question


An official curriculum vitae for Thandi Modise, the controversial Premier of South Africa’s North West province, contains a number of false claims and glaring factual inaccuracies, Africa Check has discovered.

Read the report on the Africa Check website. It was also published on news24, the Daily Maverick and the Mail and Guardian.

Why the matric pass rate is not a reliable benchmark of education quality


Jacob Zuma has hailed the matric pass rate as a “significant improvement”. But is the education system “on the right track”? As we discovered, matric results are not a reliable barometer of education quality.

Read the report on the Africa Check website. It was republished by the Daily Maverick and The Daily News.

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