The political landscape is changing as new parties emerge, stifling the ANC majority

by MMC
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With the ANC polling below 50% heading into next year’s elections, the proliferation of new parties marks a fragmented political landscape that could see the ruling party crushed by centrist and populist leftists within it, political analysts estimate. Political experts Daniel Silke and Sandile Swana said that while the defection of Carl Niehaus and other former ANC members to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) carried less weight, the major announcement by the former president Jacob Zuma in favor of the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party in The 2024 polls were expected to make maintaining KwaZulu-Natal “impossible and…

With the ANC polling below 50% heading into next year’s elections, the proliferation of new parties marks a fragmented political landscape that could see the ruling party crushed by centrist and populist leftists within it, political analysts estimate.

Political experts Daniel Silke and Sandile Swana said that while the defection of Carl Niehaus and other former ANC members to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) carried less weight, the major announcement by the former president Jacob Zuma in favor of the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party in The 2024 polls were expected to make maintaining KwaZulu-Natal “impossible and more volatile”.

Silke said: “What we are seeing is a fragmentation within the wider ANC family, with the birth of the EFF marking the start of this fragmentation. “As tensions rise in the run-up to the elections, we are seeing increased fragmentation at the center of the political spectrum.

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A fragmented opposition

“The DA has also fragmented with newer political parties representing similar interests to the party.

“We are seeing a fragmentation of the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) sector within the ANC, with the EFF gaining momentum.

“The story of Niehaus and others joining the EFF is less important, but Zuma campaigning for a new political party and the distance created between him and the ANC means we are seeing fragmentation at the RET level .

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“This is a fragmented political landscape and the ANC itself will lose some of its support base to centrist political parties and the RET side of the equation.

“The ANC is going to be put to the test – both by the centrists and the left-wing populists within it.

Zuma’s impact on KZN

“Zuma’s decision is the most significant for the ANC – it weakens the party in KZN, making the ANC’s continued existence in KZN impossible and more volatile.

“Even though Zuma has lost significant support over the years, he remains a powerful symbolic figure in the KZN political arena.

“I expect KZN to be more combustible and more competitive than ever. With Zuma now campaigning against the ANC, we could see further destabilization in KZN as we approach the election period.”

Silke said Zuma’s public support for the MK party would serve to “loosen the link with the ANC – the hold the liberation movement has had over the years on the electorate”.

“The emotional and historical attachment to the struggle that the ANC had in South Africa is now gone,” Silke said.

Agreeing with Silke, Swana said Zuma was “an important factor, particularly in KZN politics, with loyalists in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and elsewhere”.

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“Before 2009, the ANC was gaining votes – around 70%, but still without a solid majority in KZN. “When Zuma took power, the ANC gained 1.5 million votes and when he was removed, the party lost millions of votes.

“Now that Zuma is no longer campaigning for the ANC – and going his own way – there could be a large portion of the votes following him in voting for MK. »

ANC Coalitions

“This could mean the ANC must form a coalition with a party aligned with Zuma, while the EFF also aligns itself to work with him to undermine the ANC and (President Cyril) Ramaphosa,” Swana said.

He added: “In terms of younger political parties, I expect the EFF and Freedom Front Plus to grow. I expect the ANC to continue its downward trend.

“Some are also beginning to admit that the Democratic Alliance will also, of its own accord, continue its decline. You are going to see a number of competing parties below 50%.

“I also expect the ANC to drop below 50% in next year’s polls. New parties like Rise Mzansi have a duty to mobilize retired voters. I expect them to get votes – the change starts now from Roger Jardine and Murphy Morobe – to get enough votes and seats in the National Assembly. “The beauty of these new parties, especially those that have the potential to attract black votes, is that they have a better chance of getting seats in Parliament. »

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