South Africa 2014: May 7 Elections- 20th anniversary of democracy

May 7 Election: A defining moment for the ANC
South Africa commemorates 20 years of democracy with elections on May 7, 2014

South Africa 2014 Elections

Jedi Ramalapa
SABC News

Political analysts say the upcoming national elections will signal a watershed moment for the ruling party which has so far assumed a character of arrogant entitlement as the country’s ruling liberation movement.

Professor Tinyiko Maluleke from the University of Johannesburg says should there be a downward trend post elections, questions should be asked of how the ruling party manages to win votes despite its controversial rule over the past 20 years.

“We must begin to ask how does the ANC do it, post Marikana and post Nkandla.”

A number of public opinion polls indicate that the ANC is likely to win this election by at least 50 percent. Maluleke said it would be interesting to see how the ANC would then consolidate gains made in the “miraculous” elections of 1994, including its watershed win of 70% of the national vote in 2004.

Independent political analyst Michael O’Donovan says the burgeoning black middle class is also a defining new feature, which could change the voter behavior for this year’s elections.

“Where in the past there were divisions between race groups, now we’re seeing growing inequality within the race groups themselves.”

O’Donovan says the growing black middle class will vote to preserve their privileged positions. “How people will vote will depend largely on how they define themselves, and the black middle class defines itself as middle class and not just black. They will vote to preserve what they have.”

Public intellectual Lebogang Pheko says there’s been an internal crisis of democracy within parties leading up to these elections, which has led to the formation of a number of break-away parties such as the National Freedom Party (NFP) in Kwazulu-Natal, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which is considered to be a “dark-horse” in this election and AGANG SA led by Maphela Mamphela.

Pheko say it would be interesting to see whether the new parties would have staying power post elections and not suffer the same fate as the Congress of the People (COPE) which failed to sustain momentum after it’s historic break-way from the ANC in 2009.

She added that social movements have also been demobilized and have largely lost credibility in the lead up to these elections, which has left the country’s electorate with no viable alternative.

Despite current opinion polls predicting a clear and undisputed win for the ANC at the polls, Professor Piet Croucamp of the University of Johannesburg says it is not possible to argue that the ANC is a monolithic power.

“I think there will be more black people who will vote for the DA in this election than white people who will vote for the FF Plus,” he says.

Somadoda Fikeni says political parties should focus on consolidating their political message to their supporters in the last day before the polls to ensure that all their supporters and party agents come out to vote.

He says voter turn-out cannot be determined by public attendance of political rallies as seen at the weekend.

“Political rallies are not a good indicator of voter turnout; political parties will have to intensify their messaging over the next few hours to ensure that their supporters go out and vote.”

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Video: Small political parties risk big money to compete in South Africa’s 2014 Elections

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Video: South Africa Elections

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Video: ANC head for victory in South Africa election

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Election Commssion of South Africa

South Africa- Registration Statistics 06 May 2014

South Africa- Registration Statistics 06 May 2014 -Eastern Cape

South Africa- Registration Statistics 06 May 2014 -Free State

South Africa- Registration Statistics 06 May 2014 -Gauteng

South Africa- Registration Statistics 06 May 2014 -KwaZulu-Natal

South Africa- Registration Statistics 06 May 2014 -Limpopo

South Africa- Registration Statistics 06 May 2014 -Mpumalanga

South Africa- Registration Statistics 06 May 2014 -North West

South Africa- Registration Statistics 06 May 2014 -Northern Cape

South Africa- Registration Statistics 06 May 2014 -Western Cape
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Video: South Africa marks 20 years of multiracial democracy

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Video: South Africa commemorates 20 years of democracy

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Video: Reflecting on 20 years of democracy and elections

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Video: South Africa

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