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By Eric Naki

Political Editor


Analysts expect that the ANC will not accept defeat

Losing is something President Cyril Ramaphosa will not countenance, as he states the ruling party is working for an “overwhelming majority”.


What if the ANC loses its majority in the 2024 general elections? Will it accept defeat and move on, or try some shenanigans to stay in power? Losing is something President Cyril Ramaphosa will not countenance, as he states the ruling party is working for an “overwhelming majority”. But independent analyst Sanusha Naidu said the ANC would not simply accept defeat if it lost, but could go for one of two options – form a coalition with an opposition party or parties, or come up with a trick, like disputing the election results because it would have not prepared itself…

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What if the ANC loses its majority in the 2024 general elections? Will it accept defeat and move on, or try some shenanigans to stay in power?

Losing is something President Cyril Ramaphosa will not countenance, as he states the ruling party is working for an “overwhelming majority”.

But independent analyst Sanusha Naidu said the ANC would not simply accept defeat if it lost, but could go for one of two options – form a coalition with an opposition party or parties, or come up with a trick, like disputing the election results because it would have not prepared itself psychologically for a such an eventuality.

ALSO READ: Ipsos poll shows EFF could overtake DA as official opposition

Recent polls by prominent agencies indicate the ruling party would fare far below the 50% mark.

“There is consistency where the ANC is falling below 50%,” said Naidu, relying on the recent University of the Witwatersrand poll, which placed the ANC at about 42%, and the latest Ipsos study putting the party at 40%.

The ANC votes were shrinking at every election, she said, but wondered where they went, as a large percentage were neither registering as voters, nor voting on election days.

This had happened across the board for both the ANC and the official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA). She said the party could be flirting with around 47% to 48%.

“The writing is on the wall for the ANC. The party could try a coalition, but they need to have a big coalition. “But the question is, does the ANC believe it will lose? I think it does not,” Naidu said.

“I don’t think the ANC is psychologically prepared for anything less than 50%. They are fighting for a 50%-plus nationally and to survive in KwaZulu-Natal.

ALSO READ: ANC will struggle in KZN – experts

“They are so unprepared for a loss that there is a level of uncertainty about what the ANC is really up to right now,” she said.

“They might dispute the results as irregular, which is a typical strategy for any party that is not prepared for a loss – and that makes the ANC unpredictable.”

She questioned whether the country would experience political instability, with the ANC heading for power loss but not readying itself for it. She suggested if the party got 40%-44%, it would have to look towards a slate of smaller opposition parties to cobble together a coalition.

This would complicate its desire to remain the ruling party because seeking a partnership with the DA or Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) was a nonstarter.

It would be “political suicide” for the ANC to join forces with the EFF because the red berets could make unachievable demands, such as asking for crucial positions in Cabinet, like the deputy president, which the ANC wouldn’t like.

ALSO READ: Thabo Mbeki can’t save the ANC now

Such a coalition would be a huge sacrifice for the ANC.

“(The EFF’s Julius) Malema wants the ANC to come begging – that is his strategy. The ultimate goal of the EFF is to take control of the ANC.”

Analyst Susan Booysen previously said the EFF would not make a good coalition partner for the ANC.

Rather than form alliances that would not guarantee an electoral majority, or its legitimacy, it would go back to the people.

“An alliance like this will expose the weaknesses of the ANC. We can’t say the EFF manipulates the ANC but it is able to play with it,” Booysen said.

Naidu suggested the DA would be the best bet as a coalition partner, although that would cause some internal ruction within the ruling party.

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