With the never-ending crisis after crisis and the almost total collapse of the state-owned enterprises, and the inability to turn things around, analysts believe that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s party may have reached a dead end as South Africans become more frustrated by the lack of decisive leadership.
WITH the 2024 general elections coming, the ANC would have been in government for at least 30 years, which have been characterised by loud rhetorical statements, empty promises, and inaction in the implementation of progressive policies.
The never-ending crisis after crises and the almost total collapse of the state-owned enterprises (SOEs), as well as the inability to turn things around, have led analysts to believe that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s party may have reached a dead end as South Africans become more frustrated by the lack of decisive leadership.
However, some analysts also believe that the weakened ANC still has a chance to govern with the opposition in a coalition government.
Political analyst and managing director at RE4M Envoy, Yolokazi Mfuto, said: “The ANC lacks the political will to transform the existing economic structures to implement policies such as the broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) properly and effectively.
“In as much as we have seen the inefficiency of the current governing organisation, many South Africans still believe that the ANC can renew itself thus change might happen. This belief mostly exists within the organisation, as well as in rural areas in provinces like the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal, and Mpumalanga. We must be also cognisant of the fact that these are the people most committed to voting.
“However, this is despite the indication that the ANC might not survive the polls by a significant margin, even though they might not lose the majority holistically. There is a possibility of a coalition government.”
On the possibility of a coalition government, Mfuto said the current opposition wasn’t strong and no single organisation sought to overthrow ANC on its own.
“Coalition governments aren’t completely new in South Africa. However, the current political system is not ready to govern in a coalition arrangement as opposition parties still lack maturity in governance.”
Weighing in, senior political studies lecturer at the University of Limpopo, Dr Metjie Makgoba, said the ruling party remained hegemonic, because many South Africans weren’t convinced that the opposition was a strong alternative.
“Some people would even choose to abstain from voting instead of voting against the ANC. This means that even if the ANC’s numbers suffer and dwindle, it will remain a dominant party. However, the formation of COPE, the EFF, and the BLF have taken a lot from the ruling party, and the trend is continuing to eat at its foundation.
“But the shift won’t be too radical. Voting patterns take time to change and depend mostly on issues of loyalty. Many people who are eligible to vote would still be loyal to the ANC for issues beyond service delivery. They would vote for the ANC, because it falsely stands as the only party that resisted apartheid.
“Because of this false political currency, the party would still be favourable to maintain more than 50% of national votes.”
Makgoba added: “Coalition seems to be the future of this country. What is likely to happen is that the ANC will start losing provinces one by one until it becomes a regional political party.
“But this is going to take over 20 years to happen. For now, the ANC is still a favourable political party even if it continues to disappoint many poor black people.”
ANC’s chances for outright victory
Deputy vice-chancellor of the institutional support at Zululand University and independent political Professor Sipho Seepe, was of the view that there was no doubt that the ANC was unlikely to be the outright winner.
“Under Ramaphosa it has squandered whatever political and historical capital it commanded. My sense is that has already resigned itself to a coalition government where it hopes to be the main player.
“It would seem that the party also desperately wants to lose. This may be a result of having a president who is clueless about how to take the country forward. If truth be told, the country is being auctioned in Western capitals and its future is mortgaged almost daily.
“One thing that Ramaphosa would achieve is to deliver the ANC as a carcass for the next leadership to deal with; that is, if the miracle of resurrection is still possible.”
Seepe felt that this year would be spent on the ANC engaging in continuing internal squabbles with Ramaphosa who is likely to be locked in court cases linked to the Phala Phala saga.
“We are going to have more of the same. At the moment we have to deal with the destruction of our economy daily.”