Africa: In South Africa, True Political Dynamite Still Doesn't Come in Small Packages


The New Age and ANN7 proprietor Mzwanele Manyi during the announcement on the shareholding of his company Lodidox on August 30, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Wikus de Wet)

For obvious reasons, most of the reporting on our political drama appears to focus on the three major parties, the ANC, the DA and the EFF. At the same time, there's a plethora of new, smaller parties entering the political stage. And while it does look unlikely that any of them could have any kind of significant impact acting on their own, the behaviour of some of them does deserve examination.

Before embarking on any analysis of the smaller parties, it may be worth placing them into particular categories. The parties themselves, of course, will discourage attempts to put them into any kind of box. Still, broadly speaking, there are possibly three major groups.

The first is the group of parties which are tiny, sit on the fringe, have one single issue (or group of issues) and are unlikely to have any impact whatsoever. The stand-out party in this group in 2014 was the Ubuntu Party, which claimed that all interest is theft, and...

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