ANC likely to lose Gauteng in this election, and other provinces also in firing line

epa05704767 A man wearing a makarapa, or miners helmet, during the 105th anniversary rally of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in Soweto, South Africa, 08 January 2017. The ANC has lost ground to its political opponents at the last local elections held in 2016 with the Democratic Alliance (DA) now ruling in all of South African major cities except Durban. The ANC have been in power since the end of Apartheid and was the leading political party who fought against the racial system of leadership implemented by the all white National Party (NP).  EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

epa05704767 A man wearing a makarapa, or miners helmet, during the 105th anniversary rally of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in Soweto, South Africa, 08 January 2017. The ANC has lost ground to its political opponents at the last local elections held in 2016 with the Democratic Alliance (DA) now ruling in all of South African major cities except Durban. The ANC have been in power since the end of Apartheid and was the leading political party who fought against the racial system of leadership implemented by the all white National Party (NP). EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

The ruling party is still on track to get an overall majority, but one analyst says the future looks increasingly grim for them.

There is no doubt that the ruling ANC will win with an “outright majority” in the 2019 elections – but it will most likely lose power in Gauteng in May, and thereafter in the rest of the country in future polls, a respected political analyst, Aubrey Matshiqi, has predicted.

In a no-holds barred debate in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Thursday, the renowned analyst said the ANC must prepare to lose Gauteng in May to a coalition of political parties.  He warned that if the current trend, where ANC support had been declining since its two-thirds majority in 1999, was anything to go by, the party would lose more and more power in the next five years.

The drop in its support in the provinces should be a source of worry for the party, especially in Gauteng, North West, and Limpopo, which were its strongholds. The party support in Gauteng dropped from 64% in 2009, to 53% in 2014 – a whopping 11% decline. There are fears that the party will fare below 50% in the May election, forcing it to enter into a coalition with opposition parties.

The 2016 local government poll in which it lost to the DA in Johannesburg, was seen as an indication that the electorate had shifted to other parties in Gauteng.

“Gauteng is there for the taking. It will be ruled by a coalition government,” Matshiqi predicted.

The analyst said the implementation of the Gauteng Highway Improvement System (e-tolls) was one of the factors that would cause the party to lose.

“Every time a motorist drives through a gantry, the ANC loses a vote,” he said.

It is generally known that the DA has been eyeing Gauteng. This time the DA will field former Tshwane executive mayor Solly Msimanga as its premier candidate for Gauteng.

Matshiqi, who has done extensive writing on ANC politics, said the ANC was also likely to lose its majority in Limpopo and North West to coalitions. The party should be worried by the increasing support of the EFF in both Limpopo and North West.

Limpopo was a leader among the party strongholds, but it saw its support dropping from 85% in the 2009 election to 78% in 2014, while North West moved from 73% to 67% in the same period.

“We could see coalitions in North West and Limpopo. And the ANC would lose power in future elections. The picture in the provinces is dire. There is a continuous downward trend at national level. If the ANC wins, it will be by a reduced majority and, in the next four to five years, it will be out of power.

“The ANC has run its course,” Matshiqi said.

– ericn@citizen.co.za

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