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Ramaphosa's ANC adopts populist politics ahead of polls

by Staff reporter
28 Aug 2022 at 19:10hrs | Views
SOUTH Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC) is moving to left wing politics in a populist bid to garner votes in the 2024 elections, which explains the party's newly adopted stance against foreign immigrants, especially Zimbabweans, The NewsHawks can reveal.

The ANC is desperate to gain more ground after a party's shabby performance in the 2021 municipal polls, in which it lost its majority in four metropolitan municipalities: Tshwane, Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay and City of Ekurhuleni (East Rand).
Of the eight metros, the ANC now only controls Mangaung and Buffalo City with outright majorities, while five of the country's metros are hung.

In the 2021 elections, emerging parties with hardline stances against foreign nationals whom they accuse of grabbing the jobs of poverty-stricken locals made inroads into most of the ANC's strongholds.

Having amassed 49% of the votes in 2016, the ANC has now dropped to 38.19%. Most of its support appears to have been eroded by new kids on the block
ActionSA, who managed to get a respectable 15 seats in the metro.

While the ANC retained its majority in Mangaung, it dropped from the 51 seats it got in 2016 to 50.

In the same metro, a new party, Patriotic Alliance (PA), gained seats while the left wing Economic Freedom Fighters gained ground in the ANC stronghold, bagging three more seats than it had in 2016.

In Buffalo City, the ANC again lost a seat, dropping from 61 to 60, while the DA gained four seats, growing from 20 to 24.

The EFF also made some gains, growing from eight to 13 seats.

In Buffalo City, the ANC again lost a seat, dropping from 61 to 60, while the DA gained four seats, growing from 20 to 24.

The EFF also recorded some gains, growing from eight to 13 seats.

The ANC has 91 seats with 33.60%, a decline of 121 seats in 2016. The DA has 71 with 26.14% of the votes. The party has lost 33 seats from 2016 when it held 104 at 38.41%.

The biggest winner in Johannesburg was ActionSA, with the party secureing 44 seats in while still a new comer in South African politics.

The ANC managed 91 seats with 33.60% which was a decline from the 2016 showing where it had 121.

In Buffalo City, the ANC again lost a seat, dropping from 61 to 60, while the DA gained four seats, growing from 20 to 24. The ANC again suffer4dd a major blow in eThekwini metro where it lost its majority stranglehold on seats.

While the ANC was desperate to control Tshwane metro, its political ambitions were thwarted by novices ActionSA which got 8.64% of seats. ANC with 35% of seats could not claim majority and the tally was down from its 41% showing in 2016.

Foreigners, especially Zimbabweans, are taunted as cheap labour in South Africa, which riles local indigenous citizens and for long there have been clashes.

Diplomatic sources told The NewsHawks that the reason why Pretoria did not take drastic action on Operation Dududula, which targeted foreigners and recent hard stances on Zimbabweans such as refusal to renew work permits for 180 000 of them staying in that country point to a shift by ANC to left wing politics.

"The tip of the iceberg was the recent outburst by the Limpopo head of Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba who took on Mnangagwa for burdening South Africa with Zimbabwe's struggling citizens. It also shows that ANC is moving to the left," said the diplomatic source.

Professor Steven Friedman from the University of Johannesburg's Political Studies department, in a journal paper released in April last year titled "South Africa remains a nation of insiders and outsiders, 27 years after democracy," speaks of how the ANC at one time was rooted in leftist politics, which shows it is not new for the party.

"The left-wing tradition in South Africa goes back over a century — it was injected into the mainstream of anti-apartheid politics by the alliance between the ANC and the Communist Party."

"But, while it is common for political activists to use left language, all politics is still, as it was before 1994, insider politics. Then the insiders were whites — now they are the minority who receive an income from the formal economy each week or month," he said.

Prof Friedman also highlights that leftist politics by ANC is now motivated by the fact that the majority are the poor blacks.

"In the country's insider politics, the majority who try to survive outside the formal economy are talked about, but are never heard. The ‘radical economic transformation forces' are people trying to gain a bigger share of what the few enjoy, not to share it with the many," he said.

Source - NewZimbabwe