A supporter of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) wears a mask of President Cyril Ramaphosa and waves the party flag as he attends their final election rally at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg in 2019 Picture: AP Photo/Ben Curtis
A supporter of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) wears a mask of President Cyril Ramaphosa and waves the party flag as he attends their final election rally at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg in 2019 Picture: AP Photo/Ben Curtis

People still have faith in ANC, say analysts

By Thami Magubane Time of article published Apr 23, 2021

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THE results of Wednesday’s by-elections are an indication that people still have faith in the ANC and there is no party in the eyes of the voters that is ready to remove it from power.

That is the view from a political analyst following the party’s victories in by-elections across the country.

“People have faith in the ANC, it’s just a pity that the party’s leaders are not appreciating that public faith,” said analyst Thabani Khumalo.

He said no political party has positioned itself to attract even the disgruntled voters of the ANC.

“The year the DA won all those metros, it was not because it had attracted supporters from the ANC but rather because ANC members had decided not to vote,” he said.

Despite being mired in scandals and allegations of corruption, the ANC overwhelmed other parties in the by-elections.

According to the election results released by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), the ANC retained 10 seats and gained a seat each from the DA and the IFP.

The IFP and DA each retained one seat they won in the 2016 municipal elections. The average voter turn-out was 40.65% for all 14 wards that were contested. In KZN, the ANC won five of the seats and the IFP one.

Khumalo said the losses by the DA and the IFP were not surprising.

He said DA was facing a crisis of identity and as such the people who usually supported it were confused and just didn’t vote.

He added that the IFP’s momentum of a few years ago was disappearing.

Khumalo said the EFF, which was showing signs of growing in KZN, would always struggle in local government elections because its core constituents, the youth, were not interested in local government by-elections.

He said the popularity of the ANC was a problem for the health of the democracy in the country.

But IFP president Hlabisa said he was happy with their performance.

“The ward that was hotly contested is the one in KwaDukuza, which we kept. The one in KwaMaphumulo we lost by 32 votes; not a huge margin. “It could happen that our supporters were complacent believing we are in a majority as that ward is our traditional support, it could happen that they didn’t turn up in their numbers and the ANC was able to mobilise more.”

The ANC said they were humbled by the support they received. “The ANC is humbled by the confidence the voters continue to demonstrate in its leadership, as demonstrated by the outcome.”

EFF provincial leader Vusi Khoza said they were happy with their performance. “Everywhere we contested, we showed growth, in some areas we went from 3% to double digits.”

The DA had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

THE MERCURY

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