South Africa is at a cross road and the 2016 local government and the 2019 national elections are looming as the most important in the short history of a democratic country.
Mmusi Maimane is proving to be an inspired leadership choice by the Democratic Alliance, but will his party be able to wrestle control from the ANC in key Metros like Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth as well as Municipalities such as Kouga?
More importantly can the DA win enough votes to govern South Africa in 2019?
Veteran politician Dennis Worrall shares his thoughts:
“Twenty-four parties contested the 2014 election. Most are minnows and really constituted wasted votes. We expect a similar number of parties to contest the 2019 election.
But it would be a more stable multi-party system, and our voting estimates are not based on what the DA will gain in votes but what the ANC is likely to lose. We also take into account the following considerations:
- The DA has emerged from a highly successful well-organised and well-publicised conference with its tail up. It has a new leader going into the local elections next year – a wise decision on Helen Zille’s part – with a wider personal attraction where it counts – the black middle class.
- The ANC, by contrast, is divided, corruption and nepotism are deeply ingrained – something understood and resented by a growing number of sophisticated people who regard the ANC as an embarrassment to the country. It lacks vision and its leader is its biggest liability. Moreover, as presidential succession comes to the fore, ethnic divisions are likely to surface.
- The ethnic divisions between the Zulu’s and Xhosas is likely to increase as the succession issue becomes more urgent, with Zulu’s naturally wanting to hold on to power – we believe less and less to protect President Zuma from the criminal charges he faces than purely out of a desire to retain power.
- Government is going to become increasingly difficult for the ANC, with a failing economy and conflicting policies which undermine property rights and chase away investors; confused economic empowerment regulations which negatively affect Coloureds; a regulatory policy that seriously hurts tourism, a major source of external income; agricultural policies that will bear negatively on food security.
- What is also clear is that racism is now endemic in official policy. Desmond Tutu’s “Rainbow Nation” is a faded memory and Thabo Mbeki’s “I am an African” speech, which reverberated so resoundingly and positively is now forgotten.
Taking all this together the DA’s election conference and all its consequences seem to represent a new ball-game, with the 2019 general election looking like bringing major changes. What our calculations show is that the ANC is unlikely to gain an overall majority, with the DA emerging as a dominant party.
The figures look like this:
- The ANC loses another 10% to the DA based on the DA gaining 30% (conservative) of the vote in 2019, up from 23% in 2014.
- 10% goes to the EFF which sees its vote increasing by 4%.
- 8% to a new labour-based working party – which explains the EFF’s lower growth rate.
The DA’s #Vision2029 is resonating with voters around South Africa who want their Government to govern without nepotism, corruption and an ever weakening economy that is not providing enough jobs to cater for the youth entering the job market.