Africa After Mandela: South Africa at social and political crossroads

This spring's elections will be a 'reckoning' for the nation, with opposition parties taking aim at the ruling ANC for failing to deliver on basic services for needy South Africans.

Ann Hermes/TCSM/File

Two days before Christmas, fire swallowed 350 corrugated iron shacks in the informal settlement of Valhalla Park on the impoverished flatlands just outside Cape Town. Fourteen hundred people were left homeless.