Mandela's African National Congress may lose power in South Africa

Mandela's African National Congress may lose power in South Africa

After thirty years of one-party rule, Nelson Mandela's heirs may lose power in South Africa. This could be bad news for Vladimir Putin.

The short version

When Nelson Mandela was released from prison and South Africans were allowed to vote in their first free elections in 1994, there was no doubt that Mandela's African National Congress would enjoy massive support.

In the six elections held since then, the ANC has won a clear majority. On May 29, this winning streak may end. Polls indicate that the party will receive just under 50 percent. Therefore, it must find coalition partners if it wants to continue ruling.

A common sight in Cape Town.  Unemployed people lined up in the hope that someone would need their work during the day.

Many years of mismanagement

When Nelson Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, he promised that South Africans would stay “Children in Paradise”.

It didn't work out that way.

Voters have many reasons to turn their backs on the ANC. Scandals of corruption, abuse of power and crime have characterized the country for many years. In the last months of last year, 80 murders were recorded daily. The report says that an average of 130 rape cases are reported daily BBC.

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The memory of Mandela and other freedom fighters also fades as the years pass.

The ANC failed to put in place the welfare and distribution policy that the party promised voters. Last year, the unemployment rate reached 32 percent.

John Steenhausen seems to be making a good choice.  But it is uncertain whether he will be able to negotiate a solution that will enable him to join the government.

Two great rivals – and an old joker

If opinion polls are to be believed, it appears that the ANC and incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa will receive around 45% of the vote, according to an overview in The Economist.

In total, voters can consider 70 parties. But not all parties present a list in all electoral districts. In practice, elections are held between the ANC and three other parties.

The second largest party in the polls is the Democratic Alliance (DA) and its leader, John Steenhausen. Opinion polls indicate that he received a percentage of between 20 and 25 percent. The party enjoys the greatest support among whites and what South Africans call mixed race. Politically, they lean slightly to the right and pursue a liberal economic policy.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Julius Malema are polling around 10%. Malema was expelled from the ANC 12 years ago. His platform is more extreme than that of the ANC and receives significant attention due to attacks on whites in South Africa. He wants to nationalize parts of the business world and seize large land holdings.

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The third contender also has deep roots in the ANC. After being ousted as president, Jacob Suma created his own party. It also appears that the 82-year-old candidate and his uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party will receive around 10 percent of the votes. For Soma, a new job in Parliament may mean that corruption charges against him must be dropped.

Julius Malema and the EFF are easily recognizable by their red uniform.

Putin and the West are following suit

If the election is successful, the ANC will have to decide who it wants to work with. If they choose the Democratic Alliance, compromises must be reached in economic policy.

An alliance with the EFF could increase contradictions in the country and weaken the investment climate. Investors Such cooperation is called the “doomsday scenario.”

Perhaps the relationship between current President Cyril Ramaphosa and Jacob Suma is so bad that it may be difficult to work together.

The answer to this question will not only relate to family finances in South Africa and business life in the country.

In a short video on Youtube Two researchers at the Nordiska Afrikainstitutet discuss how the alliance could influence South Africa's foreign policy. Henning Melber says the consequences could be significant.

He is not sure whether the ANC and the Democratic Party will be able to find a common basis for government. But if they do, the result could be that Putin loses an important ally. The Democratic Alliance is strong in its support for both Israel and Ukraine. Unlike Ramaphosa who, through BRICS cooperation, has close ties with Russia and China. The ANC also accused Israel of committing genocide.

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Angela Mufumba Sellstrom believes an alliance with Zuma or the EFF could lead to a more confrontational foreign policy. Ramaphosa has distinguished himself by demanding that Africa's voice be heard in the world. For example, it demands that the continent be given a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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