Mmusi Maimane is seen in this screengrab of the new DA elections ad. (Screengrab via YouTube)
There are only 7 days left to the 5th democratic elections which will be held in South Africa on the 7th of May 2014. The talking point of these elections is whether the African National Congress (ANC) will get its two-thirds majority; if the Democratic Alliance (DA) will get their 30% that their leader Helen Zille was aiming for or if the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will get less than 5% as most recent polls have been indicating.
Before the ANC leaders met in early April, the National Executive Committee (NEC) in Cape Town received a report commissioned on the perception survey per provinces on the ANC moving towards the election. The report revealed that the ANC is faced with the risk of losing between 20%-30% of the support that it received in the 2009 general elections.
The report projected the following outcome performance by ANC per province:
• North West = 40%
• KZN = 57%
• Northern Cape = 43%
• Eastern Cape = 51%
• Western Cape = 39%
• Free State = 47%
• Gauteng = 45%
• Limpopo = 49%
• Mpumalanga = 46%
In light of these results, a decision was taken to establish a team that will engage members of COPE and EFF who want to rejoin ANC and to approach disgruntled ANC senior members to publicly throw their weight behind the ANC’s victory. Hence, a few days ago about 14 COPE members of parliament (MPs) defected to the ANC. That was all part of a strategy to win back support by the ANC. This report together with the Public Protector Report on the Nkandla security upgrade were defined as two signs that should worry the ANC.
This report also raised concern about the distance created between the ANC and blue collar workers, as a result of COSATU inability to effectively campaign as a unity behind ANC election campaign.To some, the figures above look ridiculous since the ANC has been proclaiming an overwhelming victory in the upcoming elections. As ridiculous at they may seem, the ANC is faced with the toughest election yet by its own admission.
A record 25.3 million South Africans are registered and ready to vote in the 7 May 2014 national and provincial elections.The three political parties that have the most interesting and robust election campaigns are the EFF, ANC and DA. Mmusi Maimane the premier candidate for the DA has been running up and down with the DA branded taxi around townships in Gauteng to win some black voters but somehow his election campaign lost its steam along the way. Mmusi Maimane was also going on about e-tolls but he quickly learned that it was not wise enough to go on the e-tolls bandwagon. He abandon that ship and started sailing on the Nkandla ticket. This shows that the DA didn’t have a plan to approach these elections and failed to capture the imagination of South Africans despite the millions of rands that were spent by the DA during their election campaign.
The DA achieved an overall vote of just over 24% in the 2011 local government elections and by all indications it is highly unlikely that they will achieve that 24% which they previously had let alone the 30% they were aiming to achieve. They will surely receive a rude awakening these elections as they will learn that they have reached the ceiling and will struggle to even achieve 20% meaning they will be regressing from their 24% result that they previously received in 2011. DA leader Helen Zille appears to have backed away from the party’s earlier target of gaining 30 per cent of the vote (up from 16.7 per cent in the 2009 election), subsequently stating that it was never the case.
The ANC has been strong on the ground and no doubt this will prove to bear fruits as it has been doing door-to-door visits with most of its constituencies. Furthermore, the ANC has experience, structure and election machinery to deliver a successful election like no other party in South Africa. Added to this is the coverage given by the SABC on its rallies goes a long way to convince people that the ANC is still a party of choice for South Africans. The “Siyanqoba Rally” that is scheduled on 04 May 2014 at FNB Stadium, three days before election will surely be broadcast live by the national broadcaster and this will further improve the chances of the party doing well. Live visual feeds going out to the masses are important for any election campaign and the ANC will surely capitalise on this.
Since the successful national manifesto launch of the EFF in Tembisa, the EFF volunteers have been on the ground everywhere in the country with limited resources trying to win voters to ensure electoral victory. The EFF has held successful provincial elections rallies in all nine provinces of South Africa over the past two months. The EFF has managed to brand itself with its signature “red beret” and these can be clearly be seen in townships and villages across the country. Despite the limited resources that the EFF has, it has managed to fill stadiums by inviting people to attend their rallies through word of mouth and presence of the ground.
The final rally that will be held by the EFF is called, “Tshela Thupa Rally” meaning the EFF will be giving hidings to all standing on the way to govern after May 07. The Tshela Thupa Rally will be held at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville Pretoria on the same day and time as the “Siyanqoba Rally” that will be organised by the ANC. It would be interesting to see if the national broadcaster will also broadcast the EFF rally live since it will be showing the ANC’s Siyanqoba Rally.
A fully representative Ipsos survey of 2219 registered voters, commissioned for the Sunday Times was released on 20/04/2014, puts support for the ANC at 65.5%, the Democratic Alliance at 23.1% and the Economic Freedom Fighters at 4% between March 21 and April 4.
On the other hand, the ANN7 C Voter Election Tracker has polled a record 13263 respondents by the week 5 of survey. The vote shares in week five for the major national parties stand at ANC 61.1%, DA 18.7%, EFF 7.6%, IFP 3.9%, Cope 3.5% and Others 5.2% as published on 25 April 2014.
The marginal decline of the ANC and the relative stagnation of the DA has remained the signal trend across all five weeks of the Election Tracker according the ANN7. The EFF is the only party that appears to be gaining momentum and growing in support as we get closer and closer to election day.
This is my election prediction for the May 07 election:
There are numerous studies that indicated that the ANC is losing popularity on a national level. These upcoming elections, the ANC will surely drop below 60% for the first time. The EFF will have a huge impact on the ANC result as it will eat directly at the ANC’s voter base. Scandals such as Nkandla-gate, Gupta-gate, Marikana, e-tolls, lack of basis services such as water and service delivery failures have also contributed to the ANC’s drop in support.
It is an impossible task for the DA to achieve their 30%, as this would mean that they would need at least 6 million votes on May 07. A maximum of 4 million votes is what they are likely to achieve. The DA has reached a ceiling and the election result will prove that it will be difficult for them to grow their support base going forward. The surprise package of these elections will no doubt be the EFF. They are the only party that will make serious a dent and inroads to the ANC’s support base and bring it below the 60% threshold.
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