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Leadership dynamics and electoral reforms ahead of 2024 Elections

Sameera Casmod |
20 November 2023 | 13:15 CAT
1-min read

Picture: Mmusi Maimane (X)

BOSA (Build One South Africa) leader Mmusi Maimane sparked debate as he outlined four potential leadership choices for the 2024 elections: President Ramaphosa, John Stenhuisen, Julius Malema, and himself. In an interview, political analysts Leonard Mbulle-Nziege and Sandile Swana provided insights into the upcoming elections and the influence of individual personalities on South African politics.

The impact of individuals’ personalities on elections in South Africa was brought into focus. Mbulle-Nziege emphasised the unique nature of the country’s proportional voting system. He acknowledged that while South Africa votes for parties, the images and popularity of party leaders play a crucial role in shaping voter perceptions.

Regarding potential central figures for the 2024 elections, Swana pointed out a survey suggesting Thabo Mbeki’s popularity relative to Ramaphosa and Zuma. He questioned whether figures like Herman Mashaba or Velenkosini Hlabisa could play pivotal roles. The analysts delved into the historical correlation between economic performance and voting patterns, highlighting the importance of a leader’s track record.

As the discussion unfolded, the idea of electoral reforms surfaced. Both analysts agreed on the need for reform but expressed concerns about potential drawbacks, especially in adopting a system similar to the US. With regards to a hybrid system, that would separate the election for president from the election of parties in parliamentary representation.

Mbulle-Nziege expanded on the potential benefits and challenges of a hybrid system. He noted the importance of voter education and buy-in from political parties, emphasising the current system’s favouring of larger parties.

The conversation shifted to the influential role of Julius Malema in South African politics. Swana acknowledged Malema’s significance, noting that the emerging politics of South Africa favour Malema and the EFF. They discussed the changing dynamics challenging the traditional dominance of the ANC.

The importance of performance-based voting at the local level and the potential for a hybrid system to enhance accountability while ensuring representation was emphasised.

As South Africa approaches the 2024 elections, the discussions surrounding leadership, electoral systems, and the influence of key figures will continue to shape the political landscape.

Listen to the full interview on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat.


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