The ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) could lose several major metros, including Johannesburg and Tshwane in the municipal elections later this year.
This is according to Prince Mashele, executive director of the Centre for Politics and Research, speaking in an interview with Talk 702.
“We are going to see, very likely,the ANC losing one or two very big metros – Nelson Mandela Bay, I think the ANC might not get it; Tshwane, it might not get it; Johannesburg,” he said. “The party is very vulnerable this year.”
The Democratic Alliance (DA) launched its Local Government elections campaign in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in September, while the ANC is expected to launch its manifesto there in March, indicating its genuine fear about losing the Eastern Cape hub.
Moody’s Investors Service warned in December that the ANC could lose several ‘important’ cities in 2016.
It cited two main drivers:
- Increased probability that growth will remain low for a prolonged period of time due to the structural challenges facing the mining industry and other sectors of the economy; and,
- Rising risk of fiscal slippages in the face of both slower growth and increasing political pressures.
Recent data showed that public disapproval ratings for the ANC has increased significantly since 2011 under president Jacob Zuma, with particular concern in economic capital of Gauteng.
ANC president, Jacob Zuma admitted over the past weekend, during the political party’s 104th anniversary celebrations, that the upcoming elections will be the ANC’s toughest yet.
From the last two national elections, the ANC has shed support, coming down from 69.7% in 2004, to 65.9% in 2009 and 62.2% in 2014, it said.
ANC membership has also dwindled from over one million to just above 789,000 over the last couple of years, president Jacob Zuma said at the party’s national general council (NGC) in October.
According to the Institute for Security Studies, when taking into account the increase in the population of voters in 2014, the ANC votes were down more than 20% in Joburg.