Year in review: Small shifts, big political changes ahead

2011-12-23 13:18

This year has seen small shifts in party support that could signal the start of bigger, long-term changes.

The DA’s support in the local government elections jumped from 17% in the 2009 general elections to 23%, and is now double what it was in 2004.

This came as the ANC’s support declined in at least 62% of the municipalities it contested in 2006 amid concern that white voters were abandoning it.

This was fuelled, among others, by a resurgent and aggressive black nationalism propagated by leaders like ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.

Although not all of the DA’s wins came from the ANC’s losses, history has shown that liberation movements in Africa often started declining sharply after 20 years in government.

The DA’s appeal to black voters increased under Helen Zille’s leadership. This year saw the election of the party’s first black parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko. It is said that Zille is considering stepping down next year, and speculation has it that the next leader won’t be white.

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