With May expected to be declared election month, political experts have predicted an intense political fight, with the ANC falling below 50%.

With former president Jacob Zuma’s use of uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) as a political party, further depleting the ruling party’s support base in the upcoming polls, analysts said the emergence of MK posed a challenge.

‘The party is going to lose its 50% majority’

“Opinion surveys and politically experienced ANC activists have accepted that in 2024, the party is going to lose its 50% majority, with the voters determining the outcome,” said independent political analyst Sandile Swana.

“This means that the mood of the voters is decidedly below 50% in favour of the ANC – putting the party in a deeper crisis in terms of the 2024 polls outcome.

“Its deeper crisis is driven by the fact that it continues to fracture internally, with the ANC veterans clearly not happy – one of them being Jacob Zuma, who has now supported the formation of the uMkhonto weSizwe party, which is going to take a lot of votes away from the ANC.

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“Since 2009, poor economic performance, load shedding, water shortages, beaches which are no longer usable, polluted water and deteriorating public transport infrastructure – are all factors that have been costing the ruling party votes.

“This year is going to be a decisive one, when the ANC is going to fall below the 50% mark.

“But this has all been a result of a cumulative effective of nonperformance, incompetence and corruption – something the party is unlikely to do much about in the run-up to the polls.”

‘A very important political year’

University of Pretoria politics lecturer Roland Henwood described 2024 as “a very important political year”.

“This is in a difficult political and economic context and citizens are under pressure with a range of problems facing them.

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“Added pressure and challenges facing a discouraged and disappointed electorate, being bombarded by propaganda, will result in more intense political contestation than most have seen.

“From a political perspective, it will be exciting to see shifts,” Henwood said.

“We are heading for a mixed reality, with many voters approaching these elections seriously – though disappointment and despondency may not motivate for high levels of engagement.

“There are early indications that a sense of urgency exists that may ensure higher voter turnout.

“The run-up to elections will be important.

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“A divisive campaign, with the possibility of electoral violence and aggressive contestation, will drives voters away.”

Independent candidates will be able to contest for seats

The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) last year launched a national and provincial electoral programme for millions of eligible voters at more than 23 296 voting stations across the country.

Independent candidates will, for the first time, be able to contest for seats at the national and provincial elections.

The commission’s chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said: “We are ready for the NPE 2024.”


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