While analysts have touted Wednesday's election as the most hotly contested in SA's democratic history, specialised market research company Intellidex sees it as playing a less important role in the country's immediate future than most believe.
"Put simply, we believe the linkage between the vote result and the post-election reform and political environment is very weak," commented analyst Peter Attard Montalto, head of capital markets research at Intellidex.
"The internal dynamics of the ANC are set from the 2017 NASREC elective conference, as are the egos and personalities and the long-term career plans of its leaders."
Therefore, while Intellidex expects the ANC to do "OK", "given the lack of growth, disastrous levels of inequality and unemployment", it still sees the "internal fightback" against President Cyril Ramaphosa to continue after the election - regardless of what happens.
Step forward, step back
"Reforms will remain at best one-step-forward-one-step-back and so potential growth will not rise," Montalto said in a statement ahead of election day.
"For the election result itself we see the ANC successfully getting out its vote in Gauteng to just hold onto the province outright though there is an even chance that it loses it and must form a coalition with small parties or possibly the EFF."
Intellidex further sees the ANC nationally getting at the low end of the 55% to 60% range the company has long had as its forecast.
"We see the DA treading water nationally whilst the EFF will make major inroads in absolute number and share of the vote nationally," added Montalto.
"The EFF forming a coalition in Gauteng would be a much more negative market outcome given the implications in the short run for the province and the long run for the ANC and country."
Intellidex still sees a short run bout of post-election Ramaphoria, helped by the urgent need to resolve Eskom's financial crisis. However, in Montalto's view, low growth and the lack of reform means this Ramaphoria should fade.
The current baseline ranges Intellidex forecasts for the election are:
Western Cape provincial
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