Poll results reflecting an erosion of support for the African National Congress (ANC) in key parts of the country could deal a body blow to President Jacob Zuma.
Support for the party has dipped below 60% nationally for the first time since 1994 – with significant loss of support in Johannesburg‚ the country’s economic hub‚ the capital Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay.
University of the Witwatersrand political scientist Professor Daryl Glaser told Radio 702 on Friday that the elections results would likely compel the ANC to look inward for answers.
“This is going to be an introspective moment for the ANC. I think there will be a little bit of blame directed externally at other groups and parties‚ but I think the person who must be most worried is Zuma‚” he said.
“I’ve been saying for a long time that an electoral shock could be the one thing that damages Zuma. In the meantime‚ he’s shown himself to be so resilient that one doesn’t know‚ but this has to be something that’s going to cause the ANC to turn inward and‚ hopefully‚ on the positive side will initiate a period of more cooperative politics‚” he said.
ANC national executive committee member and spokesman Zizi Kodwa told The Times that the party would wait until the official election results before deciding on its next move.
The party faces the prospect of having to enter into coalitions with other parties to retain key metros.
“Coalitions are a function of results so you can’t talk about them unless you have already accepted defeat. Our campaign was aimed at an overwhelming‚ decisive victory‚” he said. – Tiso Black Star Group Digital