South Africa: How the Parties Shape Up Come 8 May, Province By Province

The Electoral Commission of South Africa's Twitter page on May 6, 2019.

Beneath the political noise and choreographed optics of the 8 May election campaign trail, there are some hard and unpalatable numbers. Various polls indicate the political party expected to gain the most will be the EFF. The 2019 elections are characterised by nine million eligible voters choosing not to register, according to the IEC, and a significant 'don't know', 'won't say' or 'won't vote' segment of between 15% to 28% across polls, indicating voters' disenchantment -- and even trust deficit.

The national picture:

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has pushed a frenetic electioneering schedule as the face of the governing party's renewal for better governance and economic growth. Many, including previously disenchanted ANC supporters critical of the scandal-ridden Jacob Zuma presidency, argue that giving Ramaphosa a "convincing mandate" through the ballot would allow him to continue cleaning up - both government and party. And it would avoid Ramaphosa being removed post 8 May as part of the pushback.

It's misleading -- and part of the creative narratives told in an effort to get voters out to cast their ballots in this, a fiercely competitive election as South Africa celebrates a quarter-century of democracy.

Zuma had stayed put despite a decade of...

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