Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa told South Africans that the ANC would win next year’s local elections because the party has won bigger battles, such as defeating apartheid.
He is right about the party’s history – and no party has roots as deep into communities far removed from economic hubs like the ANC. However, 2016, as Ramaphosa acknowledged in a report by the Sunday Times, will be a very difficult year. That’s the norm in SA it seems. Every year gets harder and harder with seemingly little respite on the horizon.
Ramaphosa is said to have warned his staff that negative stories about him would be leaked as part of the ANC’s succession battle. That is the tragedy for the public: that internal politics will have so much importance in a year that is supposed to be devoted to the voter and service delivery.
Urbanisation is happening at a fast rate in South Africa and the prospects of relying on a cultural vote for the ANC are diminishing by the year. Increasingly South Africans are becoming savvy and others, such as Julius Malema and Mmusi Maimane, are waiting in the wings to exploit that new vulnerability the ANC faces.
Will the ruling party win? Yes. Will it be weakened? That all depends on how the ANC conducts its affairs between now and then. If the local government elections were now it would be very worrying, and so prudent PR between now and then is needed.
It was reported that CEOs played a big role in Zuma’s merry-go-round and no doubt the EFF and unions will bully the ANC about this. However, we see it differently.
If it is indeed true that the ANC listened to the biggest players in the economy about the potential disaster that awaited every single South African, that has to be a positive – rather a shortterm embarrassment, than a multi-year recession and disaster which would have unimagined consequences for both the ANC and South Africans. The only people who would benefit from an economic disaster would be those in red overalls.