Saturday, 10 May 2014

Just over 50% voted in SA

We whatch Al Jazeera a lot. Yesterday evening I saw ‘Inside story’ and one of the commentators was Adam Habib (vice chancellor and principal of the University of Witwatersrand). He made me aware of two important aspects of the election.

The first point was that all the 73.42% that casted their votes are not 73.42% of all adult South Africans. The percentage refers to all registered voters. News 24 also claimed the following the day before the election:
Over 10 million eligible voters in South Africa have not registered to vote in tomorrow's elections.
If this is true the picture suddenly changes. The IEC states on its website that 25 381 293 persons are registered. If another 10 000 000 could have registered it means that around 35 000 000 are eligible voters. And close to 18 500 000 have voted. This makes the percentage just over 50%. Not so impressive. I didn’t know this. Habib said that this is a sign of voting apathy and a wakeup call to all the parties.

Second he made a point about the DA. In his opinion the DA has reached a ‘plateau’. His argument was that the ANC is becoming a party for the middle class and therefore there are no more votes to fetch for the DA that side. They could move left of the ANC. This will obviously not happen. In this scenario the EFF is bound to grow in the next election. Already in 2016 South Africa will have municipal elections. I heard a number of EFF-politicians claim that 2016 will be their year.

So maybe this is the scenario. Not that a new, alternative major black party will grow on the right of the ANC but to the left. I have never thought about this but it might happen. Then of course the EFF might become the new ally of the Communist party. As well as to some of the groupings within Cosatu that does not support the ANC.

When I look at this illustration, from the IEC website, I can easily imagine a scenario where the ANC, the DA, and the EFF in the future will meet after the ANC has declined, the DA reached a plateau and the EFF having grown bigger.

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