While the decline of the ANC is inevitable, what will replace it is still in question.h
This was the takeaway from Thursday’s City Press Twitter Space, which discussed what the results of the 2021 local government elections mean for the country going forward.
Panelists City Press editor-in-chief Mondli Makhanya, politics editor Rapule Tabane, senior political reporter Setumo Stone and political analyst Asanda Ngoasheng interrogated the deal-makings, coalitions and the inevitable impact on governance.
Makhanya: It is politically possible to remove the ANC. It’s a question of what is going to replace it? Is it going to be a potpourri? That’s the major challenge. For the stability of the country, something else is going to have to emerge. We need a Macron moment.#CityPressSpace— City Press (@City_Press) November 25, 2021
Following a surprising victory in the City of Ekurhuleni and City of Johannesburg, the DA completed a clean sweep in the Gauteng’s big three municipalities when it captured the City of Tshwane. But unlike in Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg, where the ANC put up a brave fight, the victory in Tshwane was a walkover as the ANC decided not to participate in the elections. It did not put up a nomination for both the speaker and the mayor position
The political shifts that have unfolded over the past week have set the tone for 2024, said Makhanya.I would strongly predict that the ANC may have to make very compromising deals to form a government in 2024. The ANC may only really be defeated by the following election.
“What you may find in 2024 is that the ANC may not be able to form a national government on its own. The divisions in the ANC are very stark. It will be a much weaker party,” he explained adding, “the liberation movement won’t simply cease to exist – instead, it will continue to lose power until it becomes an insignificant party.”
Stone said if the ANC fails to fix the problems that it has created, Cyril Ramaphosa will be the ANC’s last president.
Stone: The ANC is in denial. It has not sunk in that their power is slipping away. They have this belief that the ANC of OR Tambo will cleanse itself and regain the moral high ground it once enjoyed.#CityPress— City Press (@City_Press) November 25, 2021
Ngoasheng pointed out that although the ANC is losing power, it remains the biggest united block in most municipalities. She added that there is no united political party that can challenge the ANC, rather a cluster of parties with different ideologies.
“What concerns me with coalitions is that there are no agreements that hold the coalition in place; they are essentially held together by sticky tape and they can fall apart at any time,” Ngoasheng said.
Speaking about coalition governments, Ngoasheng said: “You need a stronger glue than not wanting the ANC in power.”
She said the country has not figured out how to manage coalition governments. “We are coming from five years that has seen instability in Nelson Mandela Bay and Johannesburg. I had hoped that our politicians would come back with a little more maturity and, to me, that is worrisome.”
Ngoasheng said we should be asking why South Africans are choosing to stay away from the polls than vote for the opposition.
“While I am happy that opposition parties were able to form a voting block, it is not sustainable if we can’t get to 2024 where the ANC will be removed from power by a clear leader or emergent political party that is ready to take up the leadership in the country,” she said.
Speaking about coalition governments, Ngoasheng says: You need a stronger glue than not wanting the ANC in power. I am not hearing politicians putting the people at the forefront of their discussions. #CityPress— City Press (@City_Press) November 25, 2021
Makhanya agreed: “For the stability of the country, something else will need to emerge. South African needs a Macron moment like they had in France. Where we move beyond ideologies and look at what works for the South African.”