Reitumetse Makwea

By Reitumetse Makwea

Journalist


By-election losses a warning signal for ANC

Recent by-election losses and the rise of the EFF raise questions about the ANC's prospects in 2024's general election.


ANC losses in recent by-elections could be a sign of things to come in next year’s general election in which the party might dip below 50% support for the first time, say experts. After the latest round of by-elections, which saw Sol Plaatje – a municipality in Kimberley left as a hung council – signalling a coalition, and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) votes increasing, leads to a possible new scenario for SA. In a piece in the Daily Maverick, Wayne Sussman, election and political analyst, said the EFF had caused a “seismic upset in this safe ANC seat by…

Subscribe to continue reading this article
and support trusted South African journalism

Access PREMIUM news, competitions
and exclusive benefits

SUBSCRIBE
Already a member? SIGN IN HERE

ANC losses in recent by-elections could be a sign of things to come in next year’s general election in which the party might dip below 50% support for the first time, say experts.

After the latest round of by-elections, which saw Sol Plaatje – a municipality in Kimberley left as a hung council – signalling a coalition, and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) votes increasing, leads to a possible new scenario for SA.

In a piece in the Daily Maverick, Wayne Sussman, election and political analyst, said the EFF had caused a “seismic upset in this safe ANC seat by winning it off the ruling party”, in Maquassi Hills, North West and Blouberg in Limpopo.

“The EFF won both voting districts. In the town of Breyten in Mpumalanga, it went from 38% to 61%, while the ANC shrunk from 54% to 38%. In KwaZanele, the EFF jumped from 25% to 56%, with the ANC falling from 72% to 44%,” he added.

ALSO READ: ANC divisions responsible for its dwindling support at the polls – analyst

Never easy

“In the final analysis, the EFF beat the ANC by 293 votes. The party has backed up its long-shot win in Maquassi Hills with another big win in Mpumalanga,” said Sussman.

Political analyst Arthur Shopola said credit must be given to opposition parties because winning against the ANC in a rural province like Mpumalanga “is never easy”.

“The EFF in particular has been taking over wards that are traditionally ANC. Look at what they did in North West, Limpopo (Polokwane, Ward 10) and in many other provinces in the recent by-elections. They have become a force to be reckoned with.

ALSO READ: ANC in Free State expels 36 members for supporting Ace Magashule’s new party

“But beyond that, these outcomes are a clear signal that people are generally not happy with ANC-controlled municipalities.”

National level

Shopola said all the arrows were pointing to a possible coalition arrangement at national level in 2024 “but the question on whether it will work or not is entirely dependent on the political parties that would have clinched enough numbers to participate in the negotiations, because it a game of numbers.

“However, given the recent experiences around coalition councils in over 60 municipalities countrywide, there is an urgent need for a legal framework that should guide coalition arrangement, one that will enable the administration to function beyond political and ideology-driven disagreements,” said Shopola.

“Coalitions require political maturity… It cannot be correct that when a leader or a member of coalition arrangement refuses to handshake another member in a funeral or birthday celebration, the marriage is called off the following day.”

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits