Johannesburg – It’s fair to say the ANC regional and provincial conferences have not gone according to plan. From in-house fighting to disruptions at the conferences, it does not look good for the party as they head towards their elective conference.
The ANC continues to look less and less stable. The conferences have proved that many of the members are not of one thinking. The violence that occurred at the Eastern Cape conference will do little to restore ANC supporters’ hope and confidence in the party.
It is clear to see the party is slowly creating factions within itself. With how the conferences have gone, Dr Ebrahim Harvey, Political Analyst and Author, believes this shows how fractured the ANC really is.
“It’s going to be a very tumultuous run-up to the December elections. And it’s very clear that the ANC is in the biggest crisis of its existence. Certainly in post-Apartheid South Africa, it’s really falling apart. The ANC is falling apart as this country is falling apart and the infrastructure is falling apart.”
What to expect from the December elections
The conferences are an indicator of what to expect leading up to the elections in December. Harvey feels people will see more violence as we get closer to December. There will be dramatic twists and turns, but he doesn’t see anyone challenging the President.
“The ANC is in very serious trouble really, as is this country. We’re going through terrible, unprecedented times. I don’t think really that even in December and whoever is elected, Cyril will probably return to office. I’m sure about that. I don’t think there’s anybody to stand against him and to give him a real serious competition in December.”
There are many names being talked about to go up against Ramaphosa. However, even the strongest candidate, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, will not phase Ramaphosa, said Harvey.
“He is the only one that might offer [any sort of competition]. They are pushing him in KZN to compete with Cyril in December, but I don’t think he will make it at all.”
The push for him all comes down to the animosity between Mkhize and Ramaphosa. According to Harvey Mkhize is being backed by the Zuma and Ace factions. There is a lot of bad blood, and they could be looking to exploit that bad blood.
Ramaphosa’s past coming back to haunt him
At the moment, the President is having to face some serious questions about his past dealings when he was the Deputy President. These can come back to haunt him come December time.
“With this whole thing that’s happened in the United States. This company that he has been linked to. A lot of questions are being raised about when he was Deputy President. There’s a whole range of questions that now Cyril is facing that’s seriously questioning his integrity … I really think he is going to come under a lot of pressure.”
Even with the President facing these tough questions, Harvey is confident the President will come out on top in December. The Policy conference is the next thing on the calendar for the ANC. This could be the turning point and when things start to ramp up.
“I’m certain that Cyril will take it in December. As we move towards December probably from July, August, after the Policy Conference, this thing will really up the tempo. It will pick up towards December.”
The chances of the ANC losing out in 2024
There have been talks that support for the ANC is dwindling. The next election in 2024 could see the ANC garner less than 50% of the votes. While that is a possibility, Harvey is more concerned about which party will take over.
“I don’t exclude the possibility that the ANC will lose in 2024. Who replaces the ANC if they lose in 2024? The only alternative is to go into coalition politics … The ANC, as the ruling party, it’s faltering, it’s declining rapidly, and it might well lose power in 2024. But the official opposition, the DA, is itself in serious trouble.”
The only other party that Harvey could see winning the race is the EFF. He predicts the support lost by the ANC will either be gained by the EFF. Low turnout at the polls combined with ANC voters moving to the EFF could possibly win it for them.
The conference in December is of vital importance to the ANC as it is a chance to show their supporters that there is still some stability within the party. It is imperative for things to go smoothly from now till the end for the ANC to have any chance of making a recovery. Maulana Luqmaan Skink and Dr Ebrahim Harvey look into upcoming ANC conferences.