#ThatHappened: Twitter SA's hottest political and economic topics of 2018

From the World Cup 2018 fever to the wave of “Wakanda forever”, one would be forgiven for thinking that the political economy did not get any show time in the world of the Twitterati.

But you'd be wrong. 

This year saw a lot of tweeting, trolling and 280-character extolling about the state of politics, the economy and what high profile leaders are thinking ahead of the country’s democratic elections next year.

The social networking website crunched the numbers on some of 2018's biggest trending topics and shared the top hashtags of 2018. 


What started off as an ANC elective conference resolution to look into the potential for the state to expropriate land without compensation became a string of constitutional review committee meetings and a report resolving that government give it a shot.

While some believe the ANC went ahead with committing to amend the Constitution as a way of taking the election campaign advantage away from the Economic Freedom Fighters, it has become clear that land dispossession and restitution is a dear topic to many South Africans.

Here are some of the tweets of land expropriation which got major traction:



When President Cyril Ramaphosa managed to get his predecessor former president Jacob Zuma to vacate the west wing of the Union Buildings, there was much talk about a “new dawn” in government which heralded a clean slate for South Africa.

After Members of Parliament democratically installed Ramaphosa as South Africa’s new president, the former business magnate had less than a day to prepare a State of the Nation Address that would inspire South Africans, calm business and unite civil society.

Between Ramaphosa quoting Hugh Masekela, opposition decrying talk shops and allies praising the speech, here are some tweets about the address:


The outbreak of Listeriosis for the second half of 2017 hit South Africa hard, claiming more than 200 lives and infecting over a thousand people.

It also wreaked havoc for companies which produced processed meat products locally, as the outbreak scared people off in terms of eating products like polony, sandwich ham and Vienna sausages.

Companies have had to take the precaution of halting operations or temporarily closing. This included Tiger Brands’s Enterprise, Rainbow as well as retail stores like Woolworths, Shoprite and Pick n Pay. Here is what South African tweeps had to say:


The South African Broadcasting Corporation is still limping from years of mismanagement and maladministration from past leaders.

The interim board has the unenviable task of setting things straight. They have told the Department of Communications and Parliament that it needs a bailout of R3bn and may have to retrench 981 staff and 1200 freelancers.



In a matter of months, the EFF went from the political darlings that champion the Constitutional Court ruling that sank Zuma to berating journalists who reported that it’s president Julius Malema and his deputy Floyd Shivambu benefited financially from the events that led to the undoing of VBS Mutual Bank.

The EFF has said that VBS Mutual Bank was targeted because it was a black owned business. They have dismissed the reports as a smear campaign devoid of evidence or truth.

The party has also had Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan in its sights, initiating a corruption case against him at the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria. Gordhan has denied all charges.

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