- With the 2019 elections drawing ever nearer the ANC seems set to retain their position in the country, despite having lost some trust after Jacob Zuma’s 9-year reign
- Removing Jacob Zuma as president seems to have saved the party from an otherwise inevitable fall from grace
- Infighting and scandal in both the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters has also bolstered the President’s chances of retaining power
As the 2019 elections draw ever nearer the ruling party, the African National Congress has been fighting to recover from a series of bitter scandal and maintain the power it has enjoyed since 1994.
However, it is clear that the ANC has removed its opposition’s strongest claim against them: former president Jacob Zuma.
By ensuring that the notorious Zuma resigned the ruling party ensured that the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters had lost its biggest electoral asset.
The DA has been trying to ward off infighting in Cape Town, where they have been desperately trying to maintain their standing.
The EFF is also facing its share of tribulations, facing down allegations of being involved in the VBS scandal.
The odds currently stand in the favour of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who stands a good chance of having a strong mandate, perhaps even enough to strengthen his standing in the ANC.
Anne Fruhauf, vice-president of Teneo a New York risk adviser firm commented on this situation saying:
“In the current political context, many investors would probably consider a strong mandate for the ANC - in the 55 to 60% range - an optimal outcome. The assumption being that this will help President Ramaphosa to strengthen his mandate and policy clout within the ANC and contain the EFF’s influence.”
IPSOS a global market research and a consulting firm with worldwide headquarters recently commissioned polls which showed the ANC should be maintaining its hold on parliament.
In 2016 the ANC had seemed that it was on the verge of losing it majority vote when its support was at 54%, a record low for the party. This decline in popularity was chalked up to Jacob Zuma’s scandal-riddled reign.
The Democratic Alliance had made the most of this relapse, taking control of several cities including Cape Town and Gauteng.
The EFF also jumped at their opportunity to gain some control in the country, making sure to aim its policies at young, urban voters who were sick of poverty and an unemployment rate of 27.5%. This is among the highest levels of unemployment even on a global scale.
However, the ANC managed to win some of the favour lost back when Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had lost her chance at being president to Cyril Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa had helped bring about the end of apartheid and even helped to lead the drafting of South Africa's first democratic constitution.
Since Cyril Ramaphosa assumed office he has fired numerous ministers and senior managers serving under him and set his sights on attracting new investment.
Despite all of this the ANC isn’t in the clear, just yet. Suffering division after Cyril won the presidency from Dlamini-Zuma with Zuma supporters maintaining key posts in the cabinet as well as the party itself. This has somewhat hindered the Presidents efforts to restore some of the trust the ANC has lost.
Another hurdle to the ANC retaining power is the revelation that Ramaphosa had recieved a donation from a firm linked to his son and had given incorrect information regarding this to parliament. Whilst the president claims that this was an inadvertent mistake on his part, his opposition has taken the opportunity to call for a probe into the matter.
Daryl Glaser who is a politics professor at Wits University has commented saying:
“All of the main parties appear to be in a state of flux, they are suffering internal divisions and some reputational damage.There are no perfect choices. For those who like Ramaphosa, I think they will wait and see and give him another chance.”
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