South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, suffered its biggest election defeat to the Democratic Alliance party in the just concluded municipal elections.
ANC share of the vote in local elections at 55 per cent was a humiliation for President Jacob Zuma, who has survived a number of scandals and been blamed by many for overseeing a corrupt administration that has betrayed the party’s core principles.
Koffi Kouakou, a political analyst from the University of Wits in Johannesburg, maintained that Zuma’s position in ANC should be considered after the ANC defeat.
“The man, and the president, both in one, are already discredited. He’s already discredited. So his public image has taken a battering so bad that you need a new fresh presence. Whomever it is can’t be President Zuma anymore. It’s not going to be easy to sell that image to people anymore. People are losing confidence. They lost about 30 to 40 percent confidence in his ability, in his leadership, in his image. So you need somebody fresh, new. He won’t be able to do that,” said Kouakou.
The Democratic Alliance is now expected to form a coalition with smaller opposition parties to run a region that has been an ANC stronghold for more than two decades.
Analysts now predict that ANC might loose it’s popularity if it maintains Zuma at the top most position.
“If President Zuma is still president of the African National Congress and he’s the next face of the African National Congress after the congress of the ANC in 2017, I predict the ANC will lose through a coalition government coming into 2019,” said Kouakou.
“One of the things that were understood for the past 22 years, which is a culmination and a powerful signal that came out this week during the local government election: we want to give a chance to somebody else, especially the urban vote,” he added.
The ANC has lost trust from people, notably in urban areas, who say their hopes for economic opportunities have not been fulfilled since the end of white minority rule.