Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 7 hours, 0 minute ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
S.Africa’s ANC gears up for election under new leader
January 11, 2019
 Print    Send to Friend

DURBAN: South Africa’s ruling ANC party launches its election campaign on Saturday ahead of polls in May that it is tipped to win despite recently falling support, internal divisions and a sluggish economy.

The African National Congress, which has ruled since the end of apartheid 25 years ago, suffered a sharp decline in popularity under the scandal-ridden presidency of Jacob Zuma, who was ousted last February after nine years at the helm.

The party of Nelson Mandela suffered a bloody nose in 2016 local elections when it won a record low of 54 per cent of the vote and lost control of the major cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria.

But a recent IPSOS survey predicted that the ANC could garner as much as 61 per cent of the vote in May’s national and provincial elections.

The forecast upswing is pinned on the appointment of moderate pro-business reformer Cyril Ramaphosa as president after ANC lawmakers forced Zuma to resign as corruption scandals piled up.

“If there was no Ramaphosa, the ANC was not going to win this election,” Xolani Dube, a political analyst at the Durban-based Xubera think-tank, told AFP.

“ANC was on the brink of losing these elections and Ramaphosa came as a saviour.”

Other analysts are more cautious, saying that the ANC could win even without Ramaphosa, but with a significantly reduced majority.
On Saturday, the party expects 85,000 activists to turn out at a soccer stadium in Durban for the launch of its election manifesto.

Senior party officials have this week fanned out across the surrounding Kwa-Zulu Natal province, canvassing for support.

Launching its election manifesto in heavily populated Kwa-Zulu Natal — Zuma’s home province and former stronghold — is a strategic choice, seen as an attempt to unite the ANC after last year’s power struggle.

Restore the movement

Ramaphosa has publicly tried to mend ties, sitting next to Zuma and praising him at party events this week.

“Ramaphosa needs to deal with the ghost of Jacob Zuma that is roaming around ANC structures,” Dube said.

Ramaphosa admitted this week that the party had endured “significant reversals, decline and drift”.

“We find ourselves at another key moment in our history, where we are called upon to restore the movement,” he said in an address marking 107 years since the party was founded.

In policy terms, the manifesto is set to underline the ANC’s commitment to land reform to tackle racial inequality — setting the stage for one of the election’s fiercest battlegrounds.

One of Ramaphosa’s flagship pledges is to change the constitution to allow land to be taken from minority white owners without compensation — a plan aimed at attracting landless black voters that has alarmed many foreign investors.

The manifesto will also “emphasise unity and organisational renewal because they know their recent history has not been a good one,” said University of South Africa professor Somadoda Fikeni.

An electoral win with more than 60 per cent would bolster the ANC’s confidence.

“They could see that as a recovery mode on which they could build. The biggest psychological threshold is if they fall below 60 per cent, that is what they will be worried about,” Fikeni said.

The South African economy is forecast to have grown just 0.7 per cent last year, with unemployment remaining at record highs of over 27 per cent.

The ANC will face the main opposition Democratic Alliance and the radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters party in the election, but both parties have struggled to dent the ruling party since Zuma’s fall.

“In essence... the elections in 2019 will be fought between those who believe that ANC under Ramaphosa can rid itself of corruption and those who believe it cannot,” wrote journalist Jan-Jan Joubert, author of “Who Will Rule in 2019?”

Agence France-Presse

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Other Latest News
Partnership formed to boost women’s role
ABU DHABI: NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA) and the Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) platform – a Masdar-led initiative dedica..
Etihad Airways flies world’s first flight using fuel made in UAE from plants
ABU DHABI: The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), a non-profit entity established by Masdar Institute that is part of Khalifa University of Science and Tec..
Emirates and flydubai partnership to add new codeshare destinations in 2019
DUBAI: The strategic partnership between Dubai’s two airlines, Emirates and flydubai, continues to open up the world for travellers since its launch 14 months ago, and is..
Stocks turn red, pound finds peace
LONDON: Concern over China’s economic outlook and possible US tariffs on European cars dragged stocks lower on Thursday, while an anti-climactic end to the latest chapte..
Opec successfully averts glut in 2019
LONDON: Opec said on Thursday it had cut oil output sharply in December before a new accord to limit supply took effect, suggesting producers have made a strong start to ..
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright