15 April 2019

South Africa: The Promise-Rich, but Policy-Light Campaign for the Hearts and Minds of Voters


Voters have been promised much in a 2019 election campaign that's been heavy on promises, even as service delivery protests show that implementation is lacking.

More promises, less detail seems to be the motto across South Africa, with a good dollop of opposition criticism of the governing ANC. While the EFF has called for a vote for "revolutionary change", the DA's change mantra maintains that it knows best. It's a fluid situation until the ballots are cast on 8 May.

In just over three weeks, potentially 26,752,822 registered South African voters will cast their ballots. How many will actually bother to make their cross for provincial and national governments in itself will be a key indicator in the 2019 elections.

The 8 May election day wraps months of electioneering by political parties, whose gaze turned to the campaign as early as the second half of 2018. Any platform -- including parliamentary debates, because they provided a stage -- was used to fire the early campaign volleys.

The EFF on Wednesday said it was in its final phase of electioneering. The ANC is giving itself another week before stepping up the pace. The DA on Thursday indicated it was on a...

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