As the 2019 general elections approach within a month we take a look back at how SA has progressed with its new government for the past 5 years.
As predicted prior to the 2014 elections, the ANC took a hampering at the polls, pulling in just over 45% of all votes. This allowed the major opposing parties, the DA, Agang, COPE, IFP and the NFP to form a coalition union to capture the majority seats of parliament.
But as was evident from the start, the coalition was a shaky one. The most notable conflict was certainly the public contest between Helen Zille and Mamphela Ramphele for the honour of being the first female President of SA. And even though Ramphele came out the narrow winner in that fight, the coalition seemed to accept the leadership for all greater good. It didn’t seem like a bad beginning until the infamous ‘cross walking threat’.
Not too long after the coalition started its rule over SA, the three smaller parties, Cope, IFP and NFP threatened to join the side of the ANC, bringing their combined share of government towards 56% vs. 44% of the DA-Agang union. In what seemed to be a dire state, the coalition agreed to give the minority parties more equal rights in their government and the immediate threat was diverted.
The period between the 2014 general elections and 2015 municipal elections saw the ANC party gather more support in order to suppress the coalition at the municipal elections. Despite vicious campaigning in all the provinces, they only managed to retain the Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and North-West provinces from their previous elections. In the process, they conceded defeat at all the Metro municipalities except eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality and Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality.
Since the takeover in 2014, SA’s economy has seen a boost in credit rating agencies such as Moody’s and the S&P. The average GDP growth rate from 2014 until 2018 was just under 6%, increasing employment opportunities and in decreasing inequalities. The official unemployment figure also dropped from 25.5% to 16.3%.
2016 saw the coalition government achieve its greatest success. It began with the incorporation of Lesotho as the 10th province of South Africa. Ironically, Mozambique quickly followed SA’s lead and struck a deal with Swazi Land to join the eastern African country. But all that was quickly forgotten after 25 June 2016. The day the Southern African Union was formed. The SAU had the same principle as the European Union and the use of the Rand was established as common currency. The 4 founding members consisted out of SA, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe (the country has seen its small country recover economically since the toppling of Mugabe and the Zanu-PF party in 2013). Madagascar and Zambia quickly joined the union in 2017 (after a year of observer status) subsequently it was evident that the SAU held immense potential. Angola, Malawi and Tanzania have since also expressed interest in joining the SAU.
2017 followed the continued trend of better education, service delivery and improvement in the private sector. Analysts have dubbed 2017 as the year of ‘privatisation’ as it saw big state-owned companies go private, this included electricity giant Eskom, PetroSA, SASOL , SAA, Telkom and Transnet. Even though all sales of the stakes in the companies were kept private, analysts have said that the combined capital gained from their sale were an estimated 45$ billion, an impressive price tag that shows the potential of SA companies.
After much deliberation the first advantage of SA being in the BRICS forum was revealed after plans were presented to headquarter the BRICS development bank in SA in 2018. 2018 also saw SA announced as the Olympics venue for 2024, namely in Cape Town. Even though the majority of people approved of the venue it still took 3 months to announce the winner after Cape Town was locked dead in every vote against Tokyo.
During the rule of the coalition government, the ANC transitioned leadership from Jacob Zuma to Cyril Ramaphosa and with it started to gain momentum for the 2019 general elections. Since the ANC has limited control in cities, service delivery and standards in those cities also increased as the ANC focussed their efforts. The positive work that was done by the coalition government has gained many positive opinions from the citizens and most predict that the coalition umbrella will win the 2019 elections as well, but as we saw in 2014, nothing is for certain and the coalition parties will certainly campaign to keep the good progress of SA forward.
*Make this scenario a reality, vote for [CHANGE 2014]