Pretoria – The DA has a better chance of winning three metropolitan municipalities, including Tshwane, in the 2016 local government elections.
Institute for Security Studies researcher Jonathan Faull said the DA’s “personalised election” strategy would assist it in getting control of the Tshwane, Joburg and Nelson Mandela Bay municipalities in the 2016 local government elections.
“The DA will be particularly confident of their chances in pushing the ANC hard in these three metros.
“If (they don’t) win them outright, they could force coalition governments that either include or exclude the ANC.
“The dynamics of local government elections benefit the DA’s campaigning style, and the party benefits from disproportionately higher turn-out of their constituents relative to the ANC.
“The local government elections are expected to be extremely competitive.
“If the DA can get a foothold in one of the municipalities, they will be able to showcase their leadership,” Faull said.
In last week’s general elections, when compared to the 2009 elections, the ruling party lost 104 072 votes in the City of Johannesburg, 28 565 in Tshwane and 11 195 in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Faull said the ANC losing votes during the past election could be attributed to low voter turn-out in their stronghold provinces, like Limpopo, which saw a voter turn-out drop by 6.3 percent to 63.3 percent compared to 2009; the Eastern Cape down 6.4 percent to 70.3 percent; Free State down 4.5 percent to 72.5 percent; and, Mpumalanga down 4.7 percent to 75.7 percent.
He said it would interesting to see how the ANC reacted to the loss in votes.
“Outside of elections, the real action will remain within the ANC and its relationship with its alliance partners. With a national general council and competitive elective conference in store prior to 2019, the ANC faces significant challenges in the next five years.
“But if 2014 demonstrates anything, it is the ANC’s resilience in the face of challenges.”
He said another important thing would be for newcomer Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to ensure that they were not a one-hit wonder.
The party, which is less than a year old, won seats in Parliament, represented in all provincial legislatures and is the official opposition party in the North West and Limpopo.
“The vast majority of its leadership has never served in a legislature, and this challenge could be significant.
“Precedent has not been kind to upstart political parties, and the EFF will do well to learn the lessons of the one-hit wonders who have come before them.
“Should Julius Malema be unable to take up his seat in Parliament, they will need to manage their leadership structures with care to avoid infighting and factionalism,” he said.
Later this month, the Pretoria High Court, which provisionally sequestrated EFF commander-in-chief Malema, will hear an application on why the sequestration should not be made final.
A final sequestration will mean that Malema cannot serve as an MP.