With elections scheduled for the end of the year, many analysts predict that the ANC risks obtaining less than 50% of the national votes. If this happens, the ruling party will have to form a coalition to retain power.
Although South Africa has never been led by a coalition government before, many metropolitan municipalities have had a coalition government in recent years, such as the City of Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay.
In most cases, coalition governments have encountered obstacles.
“Bitter experience” of coalition governments
“The frustrating experience of dysfunctional coalition governments has shown that they do not work for the people but for political negotiators determined to advance their own personal interests,” Ramaphosa told supporters inside Mbombela Stadium.
He said service delivery usually suffers when this happens.
“Replicating this bitter experience of chaos, instability and dysfunction at the national and provincial levels would be a disaster our country cannot afford. »
The president called on ANC supporters to ensure this does not happen.
“We call on all ANC members and supporters to go to every farm, village and township, every town and suburb to be accountable to the people as we seek a renewed democratic mandate to defend and advance the gains of three decades of freedom. »
Watch: Ramaphosa makes his January 8 statement
ANC loses electoral support
The ANC has lost support in recent national and local elections. The ruling party won the 2019 elections with a reduced majority of 57.50%. This is down from 62.15% in the 2014 elections.
Factional infighting within the ANC has also led to the formation of splinter parties – the latest being the uMkhonto weSizwe party which enjoys the support of former president Jacob Zuma. This could lead to the ANC losing votes in the 2024 elections.
In October 2023, political scientist Sandile Swana said The citizen he thinks the ANC will lose Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). He also predicted that a coalition government would rule the country.
“Whether the opposition is fragmented or not, the ANC is already falling below 50% and we are heading towards a coalition government,” Swana said.
“The 2024 elections will see a reconfiguration of South African politics, as seen in the Joburg metro, where a mayor emerges from a smaller party. »
ALSO READ: The decline of the ANC opens the door to small parties and coalition politics
Additional reports by Brian Sokutu.