The dust has started to settle on the 2019 general and provincial elections with only the EFF and to some extent the I FF+ and the FF+ being happy with the results. The record low percentage poll of only 65.9% of registered voters down from 73.5% in 2014 was a clear indication that the voters are dissatisfied with the current system and role players. There were more people registered to vote in the 2019 elections but almost one million fewer people voted.
Their percentage of the vote was up from the 2016 municipal elections to 57.5% of the votes; it was nevertheless a drop of 1.4 million votes compared to 2014 and was the party’s worst performance ever in a general election. This means that the ANC is now has 230 members of parliament a loss of 19 members compared to 2014, coincidentally equivalent to the increase in the EFF members of the NA.
The results also demonstrated that Ramaphosa’s popularity exceeds that of the ANC with the party’s provincial vote being substantially lower than that of the votes for the National Assembly. The substantial drop in the Gauteng vote to merely 50.2% will be a serious concern to the ANC with local government elections due in 2021. At 37 members in the Gauteng Legislature compared to 36 for the combined opposition parties it will make voting cut throat especially based on the ANC poo attendance record at sittings.
This time round the ANC were able to capitalise on Cyril Ramaphosa whose political honeymoon will be over and the electorate will judge him on his and the government’s performance.
The loss of five seats in the National Assembly to 84 members was disappointing for the DA. At a time when the ANC was in disarray they should have been able to capitalise on government weaknesses and shown substantial growth.
This is the first election since 1994 that the DA’s vote has dropped from the previous election. The party’s vote decreased by 472 592 votes since the 2014 election to 3 618 992 votes, it can be assumed that more than 50% of those votes went to the FF+ who received almost 250 000rather than the ANC, the ACDP or they abstained from voting.
The DA is going to take decisive action to correct the perception in the eyes of many of their traditional voters that the party no longer cares about them and their concerns. The party must remember that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Clearly the DA was unable to attract more new voters than the traditional voters that they lost.
The increase in their members of parliament from 25 to 44 is a major boost to the party who, apart from the abstentions, are the clear winners in this election. Their performance in the provincial legislatures will be a disappointment to them receiving only 6 of 33 members in North West and 7 of 49 in Limpopo the two provinces that they were hoping to show significant gains.
These results will clearly spur Julius Malema and his comrades to continue with their dangerous populism which they can propagate in the knowledge that they will not have to deliver on their promises.
Once again it is clear that the bulk of EFF support comes from the youth, many of whom are not registered voters and attend party rallies for the live entertainment and meals supplied but never materialise into voters.
Bantu Holomisa and the UDM were dealt harshly by the voters for their actions in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality. By going into a coalition with the ANC they clearly antagonised the voters and returns to parliament with only 2 members. Mosiuoa Lekota and COPE continue to slide into oblivion despite his efforts to attract disaffected white voters from the DA. The ACDP who had a target of 30 seats only increased their representation from 3 to 4.
Despite all hype about Patricia de Lille and her GOOD party being a major threat to the DA their performance was dismal having only two members elected to the National Assembly and one to the WC Legislature. Her elevation to the cabinet lends credence to the rumours that the formation of GOOD was an ANC orchestrated plan to reduce the DA vote thereby opening the door of the Western Cape. Legislature for the ANC
Interesting that the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party led by Irvin Jim of NUMSA only attracted twenty four thousand votes and no members of parliament. None of the more conservative traditional or other parties supported by the African Christian Churches which were expected to back Zuma attracted much support except for the ATM (African Transformation Movement) which only received 2 members of parliament.
All the political parties need to have a good look at themselves and their policies because obviously none of them are really appealing to the electorate especially the young voters.
The low turnout was discussed in the beginning and it is indictment of the system and the current role players that from an estimated 35.861 million eligible voters only 26,779 million people registered to vote which means that voter registration is at 74.6% of the eligible voting pool. It is even worse when it is considered that 17,436 million people voted which is 48.6% of the eligible voters.
With 10,026 million votes the reality is that we have a party governing the country with only 28.0% of the eligible voters having cast their votes in their favour.
Obviously the current system and participants are not striking an accord with the voters, and as such are not fit for purpose and need a total re-evaluation.
After having pondered, consulted and negotiated for almost a week before President Ramaphosa announced his cabinet and the results were underwhelming. Having promised to cut the size of the executive arm of government and taken a year to do it the reduction of eight cabinet ministers from 36 to 28 was disappointing but at the same time to 34 deputy ministers was a disappointment. A clear indication that Ramaphosa intends using the gravy train to reward comrades for their support.
It is disappointing to see uninspiring members such as Aaron Motsoaledi, Angie Motshekga, Blade Nzimande, Ebrahim Patel and Nkosinathi (Firepool) Nhleko back in the cabinet. None of them have been shining examples of service delivery or innovation. In the main all that he done is rearranged the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.
In my opinion the president should have cut more of the existing cabinet ministers and used his prerogative in terms of Section 91 (c) of the constitution permits him to appoint two members of the cabinet who are not members of the National Assembly. He could have used this to introduce new ideas in tackling the enormous economic challenges facing the country.
Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) this week, his party remains divided on key fundamentals such as the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank, the implementation of Expropriation With-out Compensation and new revelations been revealed at the Zondo commission almost on a daily basis.
I wonder how many people who voted for the ANC to strengthen Cyril’s hand feel vindicated now that the newly appointed chairperson of the influential portfolio committees are none other than those people fingered in state capture… all done in the name of ANC unity…
Until next time…