Elections 2024: A fight to the finish, as ANC faces fierce opposition

The ANC is facing a threat of losing support in the elections. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo / Independent Newspapers

The ANC is facing a threat of losing support in the elections. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo / Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 18, 2024


The dominance of the African National Congress (ANC) faces a challenge in the upcoming elections, with political parties pushing for it to lose its majority.

The ANC got 57.5% in the 2019 national elections, but in the 2021 municipal polls its support dropped to 45.59%, and this led to the ANC losing key metros in Gauteng and other municipalities across the country.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), ActionSA and other parties have formed the Multiparty Charter to form a coalition government if the ANC fails to get an outright majority.

Some of the pollsters have already predicted that the ANC will not get above 50%.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) increased its support from 6% in the 2014 elections to 10.80% in 2019.

But the emergence of the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party led by former president Jacob Zuma has thrown a spanner in the works.

The MK party has done well in the by-elections in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga where it challenged the ANC.

When President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled the ANC’s manifesto in Durban a few weeks ago, he outlined a number of areas to inject growth in the economy, re-industrialise, absorb more young people in the labour market and to strengthen local government to deliver basic services.

“As a middle-income country, South Africa needs to industrialise and reduce its reliance on primary commodity exports and the import of luxury and capital goods. Monopoly concentration inhibits the growth of small businesses and cooperatives and new entrants into markets,” states the ANC in its manifesto.

Ramaphosa said a few months ago that head of organising, Mdumiseni Ntuli, had outlined how they need to fight the election in every street, ward, village, town and city.

The DA, on the other hand, said it wanted to get the ANC below 50% so that it can govern with other members of the Multiparty Charter.

DA leader John Steenhuisen launched his party’s manifesto on the lawns of the Union Buildings a few weeks ago. This was a symbol of how the ANC has over the last 30 years failed to get South Africa on the right track.

The DA said its manifesto was a rescue plan for South Africa.

On top of its agenda is to get rid of the cadre deployment policy because it believes it has led to where South Africa was at the moment.

The DA said cadre deployment led to the destruction of State-Owned Entities as both Eskom and Transnet, which are key drivers of economic growth, are teetering on the brink of collapse.

The electricity crisis has caused damage to the economy, with Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa saying Stage 6 load shedding costs the country R1 billion a day.

Economists have said Transnet’s poor performance has shed billions of rands in the economy.

The DA has promised to create two million jobs once it takes over. The ANC has promised to create 2.5 million jobs.

But the EFF has said the expropriation of land without compensation remains high on their agenda.

This will be their first order of business after the May elections. The EFF has been pushing for the expropriation of land without compensation since it was first elected into Parliament in 2014.

The EFF has also called for the abolishment of tenders. It said the tender system has impacted on the capacity of the state to deliver.

Julius Malema, the leader of the EFF, has targeted young people to vote for his party. But their support has grown in the previous elections and the EFF was in coalition with the ANC in Johannesburg, eThekwini and Ekurhuleni. But the Ekurhuleni coalition is on the verge of collapse after the ANC supported a motion of no confidence against the African Independence Congress Mayor, Sivuyile Ngodwana. A number of members of the EFF are MMCs in Ekurhuleni.

The IFP has been on the resurgence since the 2021 municipal elections and in recent by-elections.

Last week, the IFP snatched three wards from the ANC in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal.

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa launched the party’s manifesto in Durban where he promised to end load shedding, reserve jobs and spaza shops for South Africans and to protect the land under Ingonyama Trust.

The IFP will “prioritise the defence budget to meet the international norm of 2% of GDP.”

This would allow the South African National Defence Force to modernise its equipment, invest in technology and recruit more soldiers.

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