Analysts reflect on year as ANC faces electoral uncertainty

Published Dec 29, 2023


As 2023 comes to a close, citizens look back on a year of corruption, crime, poverty, power cuts and a myriad of social issues, which put the success of the ANC in the upcoming 2024 elections on shaky ground, say analysts.

UWC adjunct political science professor Keith Gottschalk highlighted among the biggest challenges impacting the public perception of the ruling party was “the failure of the prosecutors to yet win any high profile corruption trials, or win any extradition applications”.

“(It) lowers the credibility of ANC reforms to the National Prosecution Authority and the Independent Directorate. These create cynicism amongst voters towards ANC claims.

The failure to restore commuter trains services beyond the deadlines the government promised means that, for example, in Cape Town the poorest households spent over 40% of their monthly income on commuting by taxis, etc. The power cuts, under the euphemism of ‘load shedding’; the failure to get the post office working again, all anger voters,” he said.

However, he maintained the party still stood a chance to rule South Africa for another term.

“The extension of the basic income grant under the name of social relief from distress grants is vital for millions of unemployed voters when they make their choices.

The nine million free school lunches daily are vital to millions of voting parents of those children.”

Policy analyst Nkosikhulule Nyembezi added that the perspective offered by politicians’ obsession with personal enrichment and powergrabbing was critical.

“The looming historic contestation of the 2024 elections by independent candidates alongside political parties has stirred the waters,” Nyembezi said.

“The statute book is cluttered with laws drafted for use as campaign slogans, regardless of whether they can be made to work in practice. Here we are all now, detained as desperate citizens, condemned to the in-between zone where politicians in government have run out of the political incumbency road, but have not yet arrived at defeat; a country stuck in the purgatory of non-government,” said Nyembezi.

He added that “municipal council arithmetic” could further not explain the breakdown of local government.

“This time, two years ago, several opposition political parties won their convincing victory under the circumstances at the 2019 local government elections, in which the proportional representation system translated into the most politically diverse local councils in our fledgling democracy.

“Despite a pummelling series of by-election defeats at the hands of disgusted voters, several small parties command a hefty voice in local government. It is not exclusively the disruption by the dominant ANC that has destabilised the governance of South African municipalities, but the inability and unwillingness of opposition parties to prioritise the needs of the people,” he said.

Cape Times