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Survey Suggests South Africa’s Ruling ANC May Lose Majority

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South Africa is gearing up for its crucial national elections scheduled for May 29, with approximately 27 million citizens already registered to exercise their voting rights. This election carries significant weight, as projections from recent polls, though contested, suggest that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) may face the possibility of losing its parliamentary majority for the first time since the end of apartheid three decades ago.

ANC’s Electoral Dominance in Jeopardy

Historically, the ANC has secured victory in every national election since apartheid’s demise. However, various polls now indicate a potential shift, with forecasts suggesting that the ANC’s share of the vote could dip below the critical 50% threshold.

Survey Predictions and Voter Sentiment

Recently, the Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation unveiled the results of a survey conducted by SABI Strategy, indicating a notable decline in ANC support. According to the findings, the ANC’s projected vote share stands at 39%, signaling the likelihood of a coalition government in South Africa’s future political landscape.

Rising Concerns and Issues Facing South Africa

South Africa grapples with a myriad of pressing issues, including staggering unemployment rates, persistent electricity crises resulting in widespread blackouts, and rampant corruption allegations. These challenges have fostered widespread voter mistrust and dissatisfaction, as reflected in survey responses attributing blame primarily to the ANC government’s policies and practices.

Shifts in Political Landscape: Opposition Parties Gain Traction

Opposition parties, such as John Steenhuisen’s Democratic Alliance (DA) and the newly established MK Party endorsed by former President Jacob Zuma, are poised to capitalize on the ANC’s dwindling support. The DA’s projected vote share has risen to 27%, while the MK Party is anticipated to secure 13% of the vote, potentially surpassing the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), whose support has declined to 10%.

Controversy Surrounding Survey Credibility and Funding

Despite the survey’s unveiling, questions regarding its credibility have emerged, particularly from the EFF, citing alleged biases due to funding sources. Revelations linking the Oppenheimer family’s significant donations to the DA raise concerns about impartiality, prompting skepticism regarding the survey’s findings.

Potential Impact of Coalition Government

The prospect of the ANC losing its parliamentary majority raises the possibility of a coalition government—a scenario unprecedented at the national level in South Africa. This potential outcome underscores the shifting political landscape and the need for collaboration among diverse parties to govern effectively.

Electoral Process and Voter Registration Status

As of March 11, over 27.7 million voters have registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa, underscoring the nation’s active engagement in the democratic process. In South Africa’s parliamentary system, voters select a party rather than a presidential candidate, with seats allocated in the 400-seat Parliament based on proportional representation. Additionally, voters will determine the composition of provincial legislatures across the country’s nine provinces, further shaping the political landscape.