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EFF no threat to ANC in Cape – analysts

Published Jul 18, 2016

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The ANC in the Western Cape doesn't have to fear the EFF dislodging it from its traditional support areas, despite the ruling party's internal wranglings and divisions.

Analysts agreed yesterday that the outcome of next month's elections would not be a reflection of the 2014 general and provincial elections.

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The EFF made a strong showing in the 2014 general election in some of the key constituencies and dislodged Cope as the third largest party in the Western Cape.

The Electoral Institute of Southern Africa's Ebrahim Fakir said the projections of 2014 could not be repeated in this year's polls, based on the fact that those were two different systems. It would be difficult to indicate how voters would vote in the municipal elections.

Fakir said the EFF would have representation in municipalities after the August poll, but those would be from the proportional representation list and not wards.

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However, he said that did not rule out that the EFF could pick up some of the wards nationally.

“You can’t take the results from 2014 because the systems are different and you don’t know who is going to turn up,” said Fakir.

University of Cape Town politics department Professor Anthony Butler said it would be difficult to say whether the EFF would be able to dislodge the ANC in its traditional support areas in the Western Cape.

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“Maybe in some small areas, but I would be surprised,” Butler said.

He said the EFF had done well in Gauteng but it would be difficult for the party to do the same in the Western Cape.

He said there were people who were disenchanted with the ANC, but parties like the United Democratic Movement could benefit from that rather than the EFF.

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In its survey last week, Media Monitoring Africa said that while the ANC nationally had received most of the media coverage – from 30 percent in 2014 to 57 percent this year – the EFF had seen a slight decline in its coverage.

The increase in the ANC’s election coverage was because of its internal squabbles.

The EFF’s coverage dropped from 13 percent to 11 percent during the same period.

But William Bird of Media Monitoring Africa said the coverage of the EFF was higher than its representation in Parliament.

The EFF has 6 percent representation in Parliament and is the third largest party in the national legislature.

Butler said the Western Cape was a different environment and the EFF would take a while to build on its support base in order to take some of the support from the ANC.

The ruling part is battling to increase its representation across the Western Cape and capture key municipalities.

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