Analysis  >  Friday Briefing: The DA's Ramaphosa problem
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA â?? SEPTEMBER 11: Presiden

The DA's moment of truth: treading water or regressing?

Every election since 1994 has been billed as a 'watershed', 'the most important ever' or 'crucial to our democracy'. This year's election might be all of that, but at the very least it's going to be an acid test for the country's biggest opposition party, the DA.

It has grown in leaps and bounds at every general election since its very modest beginning as the Democratic Party in 1994. Under the leadership of Tony Leon the minority vote was consolidated and under Helen Zille the party changed tack, attempting to break into the mass electoral market.

Mmusi Maimane, who succeeded Zille after the party's good showing at the 2014 polls, seemingly has a difficult task ahead of him to maintain the growth trajectories of his predecessors.

The removal of Jacob Zuma as head of state and the popularity of President Cyril Ramaphosa, coupled with the rise of the EFF's populism and the DA's own internal issues have complicated matters for Maimane. In this week's edition of the Friday Briefing analyst Mpumelelo Mkhabela compares Maimane's situation to that of Ramaphosa, News24's opinions editor Alet Janse van Rensburg considers factors beyond personalities that could impact on the DA's fortunes and Melanie Verwoerd takes a closer look at the viability of a DA election strategy.

Enjoy the read,

Pieter du Toit

Assistant Editor: In-depth News

MANGUANG, SOUTH AFRICA ââ?¬â?? MAY 7: South Afric

South Africans don't need convincing about how bad the scandals have been under the ANC. The question is whether DA leader Mmusi Maimane is able to convince them that firstly, he and his party are a better alternative. Secondly, voters would more likely want to know if Maimane and the DA are in sync given the occasional internal ructions.

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MANGAUNG, SOUTH AFRICA ââ?¬â?? MAY 7: South Afric


Everything to lose for the DA in the battle for the heart and soul of SA

Alet Janse van Rensburg

While the last "nine wasted years" under former president Jacob Zuma didn't do the party any favours, the ANC's support among eligible voters has decreased drastically over the last two decades. It may have gotten 62% of the voting share in the last national election, but only managed to attract 35% support among the voting age population. The DA has everything to lose.

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA â?? SEPTEMBER 11: Presiden



The DA has a plan for the NCOP, but do the numbers add up?

Melanie Verwoerd

According to DA insiders the plan to win three provinces in the elections has to do with getting more political leverage in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). Using the NCOP may be a clever sounding strategy by the DA to gain more votes in especially Gauteng, but even if they do win three provinces it is unlikely to have any major effect.

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