President Jacob Zuma’s rhetoric prior to the municipal elections on Wednesday points to desperation. The Democratic Alliance (DA) is gaining popularity, while the African National Congress (ANC) has lost ground.
On Sunday, Zuma warned citizens to vote for the ANC, so that the party could carry on improving their lives. A new opinion poll has revealed that the ANC is compromised in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth, despite ruling over 278 cities in South Africa.
‘Opinion polls indicate that the ANC will have an uphill battle to hold on to the three big metros’
Many South Africans do not feel like their lives have improved under the ANC’s rule. Consequently, they may not listen to Zuma this time around, said former South African ambassador and DA member Sheila Camerer.
“The statistics and opinion polls indicate that the ANC will have an uphill battle to hold on to three big metros in this country, namely Port Elizabeth, called Nelson Mandela Bay, or Pretoria, which is called Tshwane, and Johannesburg where the Democratic Alliance is polling ahead of the ANC in two of them and level pegging in Johannesburg with the ANC,” Camerer said.
‘The ancestors will come back to hunt you if you don’t vote for the ANC says Zuma.’
Zuma has been using all sorts of ‘peculiar rhetoric’ to persuade voters to elect the ANC again.
“He said yesterday that the ancestors will come back to hunt everybody if they didn’t vote for the ANC, which is ridiculous. He’s also using a number of racist remarks in his urging for people to vote,” she commented.
“The ANC wants an end to all forms of corruption and will diligently pursue all those who are corrupt,” Zuma promised at a Johannesburg rally on Sunday.
Zuma slammed the DA, saying the party is only concerned about black people come election time. “No white party can run this country,” he said.
‘…a majority of people that he’s appealing to feel that their lives haven’t improved’
No Improvement to SA Lives
Zuma’s second term comes to an end in 2019. Thereafter, he will not be able to run for the presidency again. In the wake of numerous corruption allegations, some are saying that the municipal elections on Wednesday could be viewed as a referendum on Zuma’s rule.
After almost 22 years of ANC rule and no improvement to the lives of South Africans, there is a general feeling of disillusionment, said Camerer.
“The reason why they are not going to heed his call is that a majority of people that he’s appealing to feel that their lives haven’t been improved at all. And the only big city where one can say without contradiction that things have improved is the Western Cape and Cape Town which is controlled by the Democratic Alliance,” she explained.
‘There is a serious chance that power can be taken away from the ANC in at least two of those metros’
However, Zuma promised on Sunday that, “The ANC will ensure that all Local Municipalities, District Municipalities and Metropolitan cities achieve unqualified audits and spend their budgets on what has been approved in councils.”
The odds seem to be in the DA’s favour, as well as other opposition parties, as Wednesday’s elections approach, said Camerer.
“And there is a serious chance that power can be taken away from the ANC in at least two of those metros, possibly or even probably in a coalition between opposition parties,” she concluded.