How EFF effectively handed Gauteng to the DA

2016-08-17 19:37

Promises were made, votes were cast, ballots were counted and there was no winner with an outright majority in Gauteng Cities. This election outcome meant that parties who despise each other had to work together and form governments or have a second round of elections.

Personally I'd have preferred an EFF and ANC coalition so that the EFF threat to the DA's position is neutralised. The general elections are in 2019 and the EFF would have lost a lot of seats had they gone to bed with the ANC since they would not be representing the change many voters want to see.

But Julius Malema and his fighters had other plans. To reject the ANC, and vote with other opposition parties in hung councils. This still works in favour of the DA if its minority governments do not collapse between now and 2021. The big win for the DA comes in the 2019 general election.

The ANC's failure to win with an outright majority in Gauteng Cities shows the extent of its decline in the province. Its not just in a few places but widespread. The numbers show this. The ANC ran the Gauteng province with 64% after the 2009 elections. In the 2011 local government elections, the ANC's electoral support was 59.66%. And after the 2014 elections, the ANC retained the province with just 53.59%.  The beauty of the 2016 local government election results is that the ANC dropped below the 50% mark coming in at just 45.86%.

That means the ANC can be successfully challenged at the polls which is excellent news for the citizens who do not bother to vote because they do not believe the ANC can be removed from power. If opposition parties work well together in their post-election arrangements, and the DA is able to show Gauteng what it can do in government, the ANC should start packing.

Gauteng metros collectively control billions  that will enable whoever runs them to deliver on their promises. The challenging bit will be high unemployment, service delivery and infrastructure backlogs in the metros which cannot all be solved between now and 2019 elections. Although people will be voting for a different sphere of government, the expectation of improvements on the part of voters does not differentiate between the spheres of government and their respective competencies. Zille will tell you how people ran to her as Cape Town Mayor with problems that could only be addressed by provincial and national government. Thus the DA has that challenge of showing people change now so that they can give the party an outright majority in 2019.

Whatever happens between now and then, it will be up to the DA and other opposition parties to mess it up. And there is a real threat that this could get messy. The EFF not entering into a formal agreement with the DA means that the new councils might have a lot of instability. Budgets will need to be passed and to do that you need the EFF's votes. Considering that the party has no coherent policy on local government, making things up as they go along, they may reject plans to fix potholes in leafy suburbs for such funds to be spent  somewhere in a township. Because Julius Malema does not understand the art of governing. While the government has to prioritise the poor, it cannot ignore rate payers because that is where the bulk of local government funding comes from.  For these DA led local governments to work, an EFF that fully understands the intricacies of being in government is required. So the DA has that hurdle to get over before it can march to victory in Gauteng come 2019.

It will be much harder for the ANC to regain its support that has continuously declined in the last 3 elections. The decline in ANC's electoral support is not an overnight thing and its likely to take years for them to start growing again. The party was warned years ago that they were losing the urban vote but they chose to insult black people who vote for other political parties. If anything should be learned from these election results, as many commentators have pointed out, is that struggle credentials have an expiry date. The ANC is not entitled to my vote. They must earn it and they won't do so with arrogance, insults, or calling the DA racist.

For the first time ever, the ANC will have real competition at the next elections since opposition parties will hang on to the fact that the ANC received 53.91% nationally. You can use that to get people out to vote for the opposition since there is a real chance of removing the ANC. Many might say we cannot compare local government election results with general elections since turnout for both polls is different. The same was said about not using the 2014 election results to predict 2016 outcomes in Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, and Pretoria but the results proved that the ANC is in decline and that's all that matters. So the EFF must come to the party, support their new BFF's (DA) and work towards removing the ANC from power in future. Because corrupt hooligans do not belong in government but jail.

News24 Voices Terms & Conditions


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.