Election results are accurate at time of writing – 15:30, 5 August 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 3.40.10 PMThe local government election is turning out to be somewhat of an upset for the ANC. Nationally, the ANC won 62% of the vote in the 2014 elections, but are down to around 56%. The DA has secured Cape Town with a comfortable 66% majority, and has also acquired Nelson Mandela Bay, albeit with only 46% of the vote. Tshwane and Johannesburg are in the balance. At this stage it is impossible to tell who will take either of those two metros, but we know neither will win with an outright majority. In 2011, the ANC won Joburg comfortably with 59% of the vote. They are currently languishing at around 42% – a 17% drop. The DA has helped themselves to 7% of the ANC’s dropped votes, going from 34% to 41%. Meanwhile, the EFF is coming in at around 10% in their first local election.

This begs the question: what do these results indicate for the future?

From Dr Frans Cronje, CEO of the IRR, had this to say:

“The results are devastating for the ANC and we expect that opposition parties will redouble their efforts to undermine the party on issues ranging from corruption to Jacob Zuma and South Africa’s weak economic performance. We ascribe most of the ANC’s poor political performance to the economy. There is a close correlation between the economic standing of households and their confidence in the future. In real terms, GDP per capita levels are falling – which last happened during the year of the global financial crisis and before that, in the volatile 1980s. If the ANC cannot secure an economic turnaround ahead of 2019, let alone if South Africa slips into recession, then the race for 2019 will be extremely close. If GDP per capita keeps falling, or falls very sharply, we might even raise the prospect of a 2019 ANC defeat to a probability. Frighteningly for the ANC, many of its economic policies seem almost calculated to slow economic progress. We wait to see whether it can react to save itself”.

  • Will the ANC win the next election, but without an outright majority?
  • Will Zuma lose his grip? Or will he cling onto power for the remainder of his term, thereby further damaging his party and the economy?
  • Will the ANC resort to underhand tactics to try manipulate future election results, or will the transition to a coalition government be peaceful?
  • Should we expect major wildcard/black swan events which will shake up the political scene between now and the next election?
  • Will the DA prove to voters in newly-won metros that they will be competent enough to govern at a national level?
  • Will the DA maintain their momentum?
  • Is the EFF stable enough to grow nationally, or have they peaked in support among radicals?
  • Will the ANC commit to the necessary economic reforms to improve employment and growth, or will they choose to centralise more economic functions?
  • How will a Trump/Clinton presidency impact the world?
  • Will the global economy improve or decline? Do we face an international monetary crisis?

These are some of the questions that will be answered over the medium term, and around which scenarios for the future should be built.

It is going to be an interesting ride.

Chris is an accounting Hons student at Stellenbosch University. He matriculated from St Albans College in 2010.
He is a Libertarian and Infowarrior.
He admires: Ron Paul, Ludwig von Mises and John Lennox among many others.
Follow @cvh23