Local elections 'key for ANC'

2011-05-18 10:43

Pretoria - The ANC's performance in Wednesday's poll is key after it "slipped up" in the 2009 national elections, University of the Witwatersrand analyst Professor Susan Booysen said.

It was also an important indicator of President Jacob Zuma's leadership, after he was elected to succeed Thabo Mbeki at the end of 2007.

"If this is the second election in a row where the ANC slips, it is difficult to see how it will turn that trend around," she said.

It would also reflect poorly on Zuma's leadership - a year before the party's next elective conference is scheduled to take place.

Internal ANC politics

According to Booysen, internal ANC politics featured heavily in intra-party dynamics this time around, citing widespread protests against the party's candidate selection process as an example. In some cases the ANC had to defend its stance on the matter in courts.

"This election is very much about the way the ANC manages its internal problems... the list problems are dragging on and colouring these elections."

Zuma had acknowledged there were problems and promised that a task team would be appointed to probe whether councillor candidates had been selected correctly.

Booysen said this process would have to include looking at the ANC's regional and provincial leadership, because some candidates had been selected by these structures with a view to securing positions for themselves.

"Remember, they are electing new provincial leadership later this year and then the next national (ANC) election follows in Mangaung (Bloemfontein) next year, so there is a lot at stake for many of these structures," she said.

She agreed Wednesday's election would largely be a "two-horse race" between the ANC and the official opposition, the Democratic Alliance.

"It's a two-horse race plus a couple of kingmakers."


The "kingmakers" would be the smaller parties who may enter into coalitions. These would begin taking shape after election results were announced.

She predicted the parties controlling municipalities would not emerge immediately upon release of results, but about two weeks later following much "horsetrading".

Booysen said while the DA appeared to be making progress, it had a long way to go before it could compete on a par with the ANC.

The run-up to the 2011 local polls had been characterised by energetic, loud and sometimes downright ridiculous campaigning. Voters were courted with vows of heavenly access and threats of angering ancestors, dancing and mudslinging over unenclosed toilets.

Booysen said the energy in the campaigning ahead of the poll had been entertaining, but local elections were really about "issues", and very few parties had been clear on problems affecting specific communities.

"Sometimes I sensed some desperation in the campaigning," she laughed.

Voting was underway across the country and results were expected to begin filtering into the IEC's results centre between 21:00 and 22:00.

  • Craig44 - 2011-05-18 10:54

    "Desperation in Campaigning?" Telling people that they would go to hell if they did not vote for cANCer. Telling people that voting for another party is an insult to your ancesters. Etc.... This is not desperation... It is nothing less than deviant behaviour coming from a party clearly devoid of Morals and Ethics.

  • Schroeds - 2011-05-18 11:08

    View of young South African.

  • Gatvol - 2011-05-18 11:18

    Judged by the decay and near collapse of ESSENTIAL services all around us (Western Cape excluded, thankfully) I would say Showerhead's leadership skills suck. Unfortunately the DA has to compete with the masses voting for the ANC out of fear for reprisal by their ancestors, a ridiculous stone/cave age mentality befitting savages.

      Andrew van Dijk - 2011-05-18 12:30

      If you take a closer look they resemble zombies.

  • KomboKitten - 2011-05-18 11:27

    no, local elections are a key indicator of how BLIND people are. DA gonna tsunami your asses anc!!! Wake Up

  • Rapier - 2011-05-18 12:31

    The "Slide" continues.......get ready for an interesting few years of change in SA. Let us all back the positive, and get SA back to where we should be.

  • kingkong - 2011-05-18 12:40

    desparate times call for desparate measures intimidation is the order of the day whether by word /by actions or by invoking the dead they have run out of ways to motivate the people but the end is nigh you are going down its not if but when the time has come for the ruling elite to go go go go

  • v3 - 2011-05-18 13:11

    Jacob 783 and leadership in the same sentence? Novel stretch of the English language.

  • BlendedFrog - 2011-05-18 15:26

    Don't you just know you've got the buggers worried when they talk about everything EXCEPT the issues and their track record? Invoking ancestors, Jesus, Heaven, Hell etc. are nothing more than displacement activity while they try to untangle their knickers in the face of what many hope will be a humiliation for the ANC. In the meantime they are praying like crazy to a God they don't believe in to extricate their asses just long enough for them to have another few years of lining their offshore bank accounts before they head of into a Seychelles sunset of retirement. Even our poor abused majority population cannot be fooled forever.

  • greentomato - 2011-05-18 16:01

    Having the ANC governing is like giving a drunk 16 year old the keys to your Ferrari, a pair of lead boots and a mountain pass full of hairpin bends, with Julius Malema as your co-driver shouting directions and the white population paying the insurance premiums.

  • pages:
  • 1