The past weeks have not been kind to KwaZulu-Natal, with provincial floods claiming more than 80 lives and causing R3bn damage, 13 people killed in an Empangeni church collapse, at least two political leaders assassinated and a municipal strike bringing downtown Durban to a standstill. Amid this turbulence, the ANC is hoping the provincial electorate will not punish the party for the ousting of local favourite Jacob Zuma.
If ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial chair Sihle Zikalala is feeling the heat, he gave no sign of it on the sidelines of the province's final campaign rally on Sunday.
"I'm definitely confident that we have done well and I'm convinced the ANC is going to emerge victorious. We have reached all four corners of the province and have had a positive response," Zikalala told Daily Maverick.
Over the past decade, KwaZulu-Natal has come to be viewed as one of the ANC's easy wins.
In the 2014 general elections, the ANC captured 64.52% of the vote. Its closest contender, the DA, could manage just 12.76%. Even the most fanciful pollster would not readily suggest that the ANC is in serious danger of surrendering its grip on the province, or even of having to contemplate...