- With a new scandal making headlines almost every week and heightened economic strain, South African voters may well opt out of voting this year
- The ANC, with senior officials implicated in corruption and other illicit activities, will be the hardest hit according to experts
- With scandals like the situation at Eskom, BOSASA and other state-owned entities gripping the nation, this election has become one of the most contested in recent history
With the cost of living in South Africa skyrocketing experts warn that potential voters may shy away from the ballots in May.
High unemployment rates, nearly 20 million citizens relying on grants, high electricity costs, fuel hikes and inflation creeping skyward, the crisis in SA points to the government as the culprit.
Political analyst Daniel Silke recently commented on the situation facing the nation in the run-up to the general elections:
“The crisis represents the cumulative effects of bad policy making and corruption over the course of the last decade, and if you cumulatively add up each of the previous years’ non-performance, then you will clearly move into a crisis situation,”
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Briefly.co.za reported earlier that Ace Magashule has been the latest senior ANC official to be implicated of corruption. Adding this to the BOSASA scandal ( where more government officials have been accused of wrongdoing) this is certainly not the election President Cyril Ramaphosa had been hoping for.
Silke agrees that the nearly weekly reports of alleged corruption has plagued the ANC campaign from the word 'go' and will have an effect on the election.
According to The Citizen, Eskom has been another source of endless drama, with rolling blackouts being chalked up to incompetence and negligence under reportedly poor management.
When you add a questionable ANC candidates list to the mix, voters will either stay away or move on to opposition parties according to Silke. The analyst feels that the current crisis could see the ruling party facing mid-50% results.
Dawie Scholtz, another political analyst feels the the election will be a bumpy ride with voters uncertain of their stance:
“The other thing which is interesting is that we obviously in the past had close elections in the Western Cape and I think for the first time ever we’re going to have a close election in a second province, namely Gauteng.”
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Scholtz is convinced that the ANC will lose their majority in the contested province as the elections reach a new height of competitiveness:
“This will be more of a competitive election than we’ve had in the past. There was a massive drop in black voters for the ANC between 2011 and 2016, and I think the critical question is to what extent Ramaphosa will be able to win back those voters,”
While the true extent of the damage done to the legacy of the ANC will only be confirmed next month, experts remain unconvinced of their ability to sway voters into giving them another round at the helm of South Africa.
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