Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Analysis - Changes in ANC-Led Alliance and Prospects for a New Unity

analysis

With elections over it is appropriate to reflect on recent political developments. One of these is growing alienation from the electoral process manifested in large numbers of eligible voters failing to register or where registered, not voting. Another is the expression of the need for additional platforms for political participation, apart from periodic voting.

Amongst the symptoms of these sentiments is the development of more than one unity initiative: the most organisationally powerful one introduced by NUMSA. When announcing that it would not support ANC in the 2014 elections NUMSA indicated it would take steps to initiate a united front. The front would prepare for possibly launching a workers' party. The NUMSA decision may well have affected the ANC's electoral performance in Eastern Cape metros, though it may also be that despite this decision most members still continued to vote ANC. What we do know is that the relationship between the ANC and its support base is complex: much like partners in an abusive relationship, who do not necessarily part company despite abuse.

In two decades of democracy the character of the ANC-led alliance has been reconfigured. This is partly because the ANC became leader of government...

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