Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Pivotal election in South Africa

Local elections will take place in South Africa tomorrow. Important! From the news I get and from reactions in social media I draw the conclusion that the largest political party, the African National Conference (ANC), is facing a major challenge. The Democratic Alliance (DA) is the second largest party and it seems as if they stand a chance to win in a number of important cities. The third biggest party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is not close to majority in any metropolitan area, as far as I can see.

In connection with the national elections two years ago I listened to the vice chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Adam Habib. He then said that he thought the DA had come to a plateau. A new political space in South Africa would rather open up to the left of the ANC, not to the right. It seems as if he was wrong. I wrote about this on my blog 10 may 2014.

ANC stalwarts continue to question the party. According to News24 the former president of the republic, Kgalema Motlanthe, has said:
It may be possible at some point to salvage the ANC from this race to the bottom. But it is also equally possible that the ANC may so thoroughly discredit itself that there may be nothing to salvage …
Motlanthe was the deputy president of Mbeki and stepped in as President between Mbeki and Zuma.

I would have hoped for a strong alternative like Cope to play the role that it seems that the DA will do now.

The question is if the EFF will grow stronger. According to IOLNews Julius Malema and other party leaders have visited Mbeki in his home and they asked Mbeki to vote for the EFF. It is of course a normal thing. Local politicians visit homes in order to get votes. The local ward councillor this time asked the leader, Malema, for help. 

Does this mean that the ANC and the DA will become almost similar in size
in the future? It seems to be the case in the large cities but the situation is
different in the rural areas.
eNCA shows some charts based on different opinion polls. It is interesting to see how close the DA is in some metros. But we have to bear in mind that these are only pre-election polls.

Church leaders, like the Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, engages in the election through The Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Commission (ECCOC). They play a crucial role. Hopefully the elections will be free and fair. This is my prayer. 

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