African election could spell the end of ANC’s dominance

South Africans will vote this Wednesday with widespread anger over power cuts, unemployment and corruption that threaten to end the dominance of the African National Congress, 30 years after Nelson Mandela brought it to power.

At no time since the world’s media broadcast iconic images of black South African voters queuing to cast their ballots for the first time after the end of white minority rule has the ANC seemed so susceptible to lose its parliamentary majority. Polls show that the ANC’s vote share could fall by as much as 40%, from 57.5% in 2019, forcing the party to have a tough relationship with its opponents – and one that could reveal who President Cyril Ramaphosa is facing a tough challenge.

However, a survey published earlier this week by Afrobarometer suggested that a third of voters were undecided, making this vote the most unexpected in democratic history. South African mind. Nicole Beardsworth, a political analyst at the University of the Witwatersrand, sees the ANC taking “a little pain” on the day, defying the worst predictions – especially with Ramaphosa’s introduction this month of measures known as the Constitution National Health Insurance and National Health Insurance Law and National Health Insurance Law. Health insurance costs. capital gains.

“But I don’t think we will see the ANC more than 50%,” he said. “They’ll… have a conversation.” The big question is: with whom?

Much will depend on whether they do well or not, he said. A small margin will allow them to interact with a group that has less capacity to do useful things.

A big loss could mean a coalition with the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – a prospect that has business leaders and white privileged South Africans reeling – or more minorities could block the decision. However some believe the election may be something that makes this clean, “the next part may leave,”

Damage to the fall

For 30 years, ACC has changed the misconduct of his system with no directions of the country, but the rooms cannot be cleaned or inade of gold mines. From his first year in office, he began to change these inequalities by bringing electricity, water and semi-decent housing to millions of people.

But corruption and incompetence have eroded some of these benefits. State-owned electricity operator Eskom’s coal-fired power plants are in demand, keeping the lights always on, roads, water utilities and the school is sold inside. A third of South Africans are unemployed. “I don’t see what I’m voting for. We don’t have roads (or decent houses), unemployed Zinhle Nyakenye, 31, told Reuters in Mandela’s hometown of Qunu as she fetched water for domestic use. in a stream. Corruption has been widespread, although strong rule of law – one of the ANC’s most enduring legacies – has resulted in prosecutions of powerful figures such as ex-President Jacob Zuma, while that Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula resigned last month. Both deny wrongdoing. Zuma created a splinter party called uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in December that could win votes from the ANC in its eastern Zulu constituency. It could also cause chaos if Zuma’s supporters – who protested and looted days after he was arrested for contempt of court in July 2021 – are unhappy with the outcome. But South Africa’s strict legal framework also means rules for cooperation are clear, even if the players haven’t done so, said Chris Vandome of Chatham House.

“South Africa’s system is designed so that political parties in a fractured country can work together,” Vandome said. It was never meant for a group of leaders to maintain good control… for 30 years. »

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