With less than 5 days before South Africans go to the polls, political parties have been electioneering intensively. The ANC campaign seems to be based in Gauteng for this final week, the DA’s in the Western Cape, and the EFF’s is currently straddling KwaZulu Natal.
Speaking to Radio Islam International, Dawe Schulz, an independent analyst, alluded to the difficulties faced by the ruling ANC and opposition DA during this electoral campaign. Splits and fissures in both parties, combined with political mishaps, and the rise of smaller parties, Schulz argued, means that it is likely that most of the metros will have to be governed through coalitions. This is especially the case in Gauteng, wherein the rise of parties such as Action SA have been eating into both ANC and DA support. Shultz further alluded to the growing unprofessionalism and slippage within the DA, which he argued generally ran ‘slick’ campaigns, with targeted messaging. However the phoenix poster catastrophe combined with the calamitous statements of its leadership have seen the party lose support.
Schulz juxtaposed this with the EFF’s campaign, which has seen the party draw large crowds, and it is predicted that it is the only large party that will increase its seat, countering the vote.
Further, because this is a local government campaign, Schulz cautioned against assessing the popularities of leaders as signifiers of their party’s possible support, especially in a context wherein the ANC’s leader is vastly more popular than the party itself; Ramaphosa is trusted by 55% of voters according to a recent Media24 poll, with the party only seen as favourable by 49% and more worryingly, 60% of this 49 % of respondents view the party as corrupt.
Shultz did, however, caution that limited amounts of polling meant that predicting results was difficult. However, he did argue that it was likely that the three Gauteng Metros would be governed via coalition, with the DA retaining the city of Cape Town.
Significantly, turnout is also likely to play a large part, especially in the current context of increasing voter apathy. The aforementioned Media 24 poll projected that the ANC would have its vote increased in Gauteng, in the event of an over 50% turnout.