EFF and MK Party set to be big players

Published Apr 19, 2024


A recent survey conducted in South Africa’s three major metros has indicated that the EFF and Jacob Zuma-endorsed uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) will be big players in the upcoming May 29 elections.

The survey conducted by African Innovation Research South Africa (Airsa) in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town found that both the governing ANC and official opposition the DA were facing a considerable threat from the EFF and MKP, particularly among younger voters and those in KwaZulu-Natal.

A total of 1 030 participants were surveyed, representing a cross-section of the South African population in these metros.

It must be noted that the survey was conducted face-to-face and only in the above three metros and might not be an indication of the overall national voting sentiment.

Independent Media and IOL commissioned Airsa to conduct a countrywide survey in each province.

The findings of the survey revealed that Julius Malema’s EFF emerged as the leading choice among the participants, with approximately 20% of participants indicating they would vote EFF.

This was closely followed by the ANC with 18.4% of participants indicating they would be voting for the governing party, while 17% indicated they would vote MKP.

The DA polled at roughly 13.3% of participants.

The survey also delved deeper into the reasons behind these preferences, linking them to various socio-economic factors.

For instance, supporters of the EFF and MKP were predominantly younger and from lower-income brackets, reflecting the parties’ appeal among those who are disillusioned with the status quo and seeking radical economic changes.

According to Ongama Mtimka, a lecturer and political analyst at the department of history and political studies at Nelson Mandela University, the EFF is led by young people and is a very active party, leading the youth to gravitate towards it.

“They feel that their voice is more represented than anywhere else,” Mtimka said.

“The EFF’s radical stance places no emphasis on the rainbow nation and maybe the youth do not feel that the elite were loyal to what the democratic transition meant as far as creating an inclusive society is concerned.”

On the other hand, ANC’s support base was more varied, spanning multiple age groups and economic statuses.

“The ANC’s policy offering is broad enough to accommodate a wide range of interest, except that what they have done is to alienate a significant section of the voter base that dislikes corruption,” Mtimka said.

“So if it was not for corruption, the ANC would still be a party of choice for many South Africans across the racial spectrum,” he said.

Supporters of the DA were generally found among the middle to upper economic classes and represented a demographic that favours policies promoting economic stability and growth.

“I don’t think the upper class is going to be attracted to the DA in a coherent way,” Mtimka said.

“The DA is going to alienate the black middle-class and black entrepreneurial class because they go against the very same policies that created that class such as affirmative action and black economic empowerment.

“So there is no way the DA can attract that particular class of the society because their policies are against them.

“I think that class may find the politics of the ANC and the newcomers a lot more appealing than the DA. But I think the DA represents an important constituency,” Mtimka said.

The Mercury