PODCAST | The Story: New era in South African politics dawns - leaving ANC to lick its wounds

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  • The DA won mayorships in Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg.
  • The EFF and other smaller parties united against their common enemy, the ANC.
  • The DA has failed to reach coalition agreements in Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg.

The rise of a new era in South African politics has dawned, leaving the ANC to lick its wounds.

The DA reaped the benefits of smaller parties uniting against their common enemy, the ANC.

The DA won mayorships in Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg. The ANC has now lost control of the biggest and most important metros in Gauteng, the economic heartbeat of the country. 

In this week's episode of The Story, we speak to News24's assistant editor for in-depth news, Pieter du Toit, and political analyst Dawie Scholtz, about the significance of these political developments and what it could mean for the future of South Africa. 

Du Toit said it "was a massive week for politics in this country, and I would argue the biggest realignment of politics we've seen in the country since 1994".

ALSO READ | What the new mayors of Joburg and Ekurhuleni did in their first week in office

He said the DA won the mayorships in Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg due to "an opposition block vote which decided to give these mayorships to the DA. The key of course was the support of the EFF. The EFF and the DA are of course as polar opposite as you can get, so the support from the EFF to the DA was crucial".

He predicts a lot of infighting and indecisiveness in the future which will make governing very difficult. "It is going to lead to a lot of instability, and that is the nature of coalition governments."

Political analyst Dawie Scholtz said the recent developments in the local government elections had been a wake-up call for the ANC.

He said, in the past, the ANC had been punished by people staying away from the polls, but in these elections, "in unprecedented numbers former ANC voters came out to vote against the ANC".

Scholtz said he believed what has transpired in Gauteng was "quite a clever move by all the opposition parties, particularly ActionSA and the EFF, to, without the DA expecting it, and without the DA's knowledge, and potentially even against the DA's will, voting for these DA mayors and forcing them to come back to the negotiation table to actually hammer out a deal". 

He said a lot of people in South Africa would now, for the first time ever, get to experience governance from a party that is not the ANC. "I think seeing alternative governments in action, for good or for bad, is probably going to contribute to the momentum of the voters' willingness and openness to consider alternatives, which is just bad news for the ANC."

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