SA’s voting dynamics: it’s no longer a race between the big three

SA’s voting dynamics: it’s no longer a race between the big three

The number of political parties in South Africa has increased significantly from the 19 that participated in the first democratic election in 1994. Both 2011 and 2016 saw the number of political parties grow. But this year the number has increased exponentially.

Over 500 are currently registered with the Independent Electoral Commission. Over 300 will be participating in the November 2021 local government election. In addition, more than 1,500 independent candidates will participate in the poll.

Against this background, there are divergent views about the uniqueness of this election compared to the previous ones.

Despite the increased number of participants in this election, some see the race as still being between the African National Congress (ANC), which dominates the National Assembly and runs the country, and the two big opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

A counter view is that the political landscape has widened, thus expanding the competition beyond the three major parties.

Based on my academic work as a political scientist and a historian who specialises in African historical and political issues, I think either of these positions is plausible. But I think it’s more plausible that the smaller political parties will upset the top three parties, given the changed political landscape.

The rise in political parties putting forward candidates, and the explosion in the number of independents, means it’s no longer simply a race among the three big ones.

Factors at play

Firstly, it’s important to remember that this is a municipal poll, not national and provincial elections. Local elections provide a platform for a wider range of political parties.

Secondly, the fact that the number of new political parties has increased significantly could mean that the plans of the three main parties are derailed. In the main, the new parties are formed by politicians who were once associated with the three main parties. Some even enjoy a good following.

In all probability, their supporters and their sympathisers might vote for them, drawing away votes from the big players.

Thirdly, the increased number of independent candidates poses a challenge to the three main political parties. Even if none of them attract a larger following, they might take enough from the three main political parties to deny them control of municipalities.

Depending on the popularity of the ANC, DA and EFF in a given municipality, independent candidates might win seats or simply take enough votes to deny any of the three main parties an outright majority.

Fourthly, with so many political parties and so many independent candidates, the prospect of coalitions in certain municipalities is a reality that cannot be ignored. While it is true that the ANC, DA and EFF enjoy more support compared to the other parties, there is a possibility that smaller parties could gang up against the big three to run some municipalities.

Fifthly, not all provinces are the same. In KwaZulu-Natal, for example, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) cannot be ignored. In fact, it poses a bigger threat to the ANC than the DA and the EFF combined.

Apart from the fact that the Inkatha Freedom Party has strategically retained its founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi as its face and a draw card, it has also benefited from the mistakes made by both the ANC and the National Freedom Party. The National Freedom Party did well in 2011 but did not participate in the 2016 elections.

Internal squabbles within the ANC and the National Freedom Party benefited the Inkatha Freedom Party in the 2016 local elections. Some of their members and followers did not vote or simply voted for the Inkatha Freedom Party.

While there may have been a slight change in each of these parties as they tried to regroup, the reality is that they are still not united.

On the other hand, the Inkatha Freedom Party seems to be sailing smoothly in KwaZulu-Natal. Therefore, in this election, it is likely to win more municipalities than it did in 2016.

Voter apathy

Another factor which is hard to ignore is voter apathy. While it is true that many South Africans are either members or supporters of the ANC, DA and the EFF, the bad state of local municipalities – a lack of water, sometimes none, broken infrastructure and neglect – has dampened the spirit of the electorate.

Voters might just elect to stay away. Already, some have indicated that they will not vote due to lack of service delivery.

Another related point is that other political parties could win a municipality due to a combination of factors. They would count on their own members, other sympathisers who do not belong to any political party, new voters, as well as some disgruntled members from the three main political parties.

It’s therefore too simplistic to argue that the race for the 2021 local government elections is only between the ANC on the one hand and the DA and the EFF on the other. It remains indisputable that at national level, the DA and the EFF are the second and third largest political parties.

But when it comes to local elections, this trend isn’t guaranteed.The Conversation

Bheki Mngomezulu, Professor of Political Science, University of the Western Cape

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.



Ramaphosa made the remarks while delivering the closing address on Monday after the ANC’s national executive committee meeting held over the weekend.

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed support for the people of Palestine amid rising tensions with Israel and deadly strikes that have claimed the lives of children.

Ramaphosa made the remarks while delivering the closing address on Monday after the ANC’s national executive committee meeting held over the weekend.

There’s been a fresh build-up in anger between Palestinians and Israelis over plans to evict Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah – that’s in east Jerusalem – to make space for Israeli settlements.

The situation escalated into violence when Israeli forces stormed the al-Aqsa mosque over the weekend as worshippers gathered for Ramadan prayers.

Since then, the two sides have clashed daily as police fired rubber bullets and Palestinians threw rocks and other objects.

Ramaphosa has reiterated South Africa’s position on the decades-long conflict.

“The NEC reaffirms its support for the people of Palestine and their struggle for freedom and self-determination. And we repeat our condemnation in the strongest terms of the unlawful evictions of the Palestinians from their homes and the brutal attacks on the Palestinian protestors at al-Aqsa mosque.”

Meanwhile, world leaders have appealed for calm after at least 22 people were killed by rocket attacks launched by Israel in response to similar strikes by the Palestinian group Hamas.

It’s being reported that at least nine children are among the dead.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken called for de-escalation: “We are very deeply concerned about the attacks we have seen and they need to stop immediately.”


Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, earlier Monday warned Israel to withdraw all its forces from the mosque compound and the east Jerusalem district of Sheikh Jarrah, where looming evictions of Palestinian families have fuelled angry protests.

Sirens wailed across Jerusalem just after the 1500 GMT deadline set by Hamas as people in Jerusalem, including lawmakers in the Knesset legislature, fled to bunkers for the first time since a 2014 Gaza conflict.

A spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing the Qassam Brigades said the rocket attacks were in response to Israeli actions in Sheikh Jarrah and around the al-Aqsa mosque.

“This is a message that the enemy must understand well: if you respond we will respond, and if you escalate we will escalate.”

A house in Beit Nekofa, about 10 kilometres (six miles) west of central Jerusalem, was also damaged by rocket fire, AFP TV reported.

An Israeli Arab died from gunshot wounds in clashes with Israeli Jews in the central city of Lod, police said Monday, without providing details.


Fears of further chaos in the Old City had temporarily eased when Israeli organisers of a march to celebrate the Jewish state’s 1967 capture of east Jerusalem cancelled the event.

But then came the Hamas warning, followed by the rockets, which also forced the evacuation of the Western Wall and other sites.

On Monday evening, as during the previous nights since Friday, Palestinians hurled rocks at Israeli officers in riot gear who fired rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.

That came after morning clashes which left the ground littered with rocks, stun grenade fragments and other debris as loud booms and angry screams echoed from the ancient stone walls.

There were dozens of newly wounded demonstrators. The Palestinian Red Crescent said at least 395 Palestinians were wounded, including more than 200 who were hospitalised, five of them in critical condition.

Siraj, 24, was wheeled into surgery at the large Makassed Hospital after suffering a spleen injury from being hit by a rubber bullet.

“They shot everyone, young and old people,” he said.

Makassed director general Adnan Farhoud said most of Monday’s injuries were to the head, chest, and upper and lower limbs.

When “you mean to harm someone you shoot to the head”, he told AFP.

The Israeli police reported 32 injuries in their ranks.

The violence since Friday has been fuelled by a long-running bid by Jewish settlers to evict several Palestinian families from their nearby Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in annexed east Jerusalem.

A Supreme Court hearing on a Palestinian appeal in the case originally set for Monday was pushed back by the justice ministry due to the tensions.

Additional reporting by AFP.




ALERT: New Hijacking method cause for concern.

ALERT: New Hijacking method cause for concern.

“When driving, accept that someone stopping suddenly in this manner may be a threat..”

This new technique involves a carjacker pulling in front of a victim as they enter onto a highway ‘on-ramp’.

The perpetrators stop on the on-ramp and one of the criminals jumps out of their own vehicle and quickly surprise their victim. They then have an open road for a quick getaway.

Eugene Herbert is the managing director of the vehicle safety company, MasterDrive and he has advised all highway-using motorists to ‘keep their distance’ when entering via an on-ramp.

“The driver was blocked in by the hijacker’s car that preceded her and soon by traffic behind her.



“The driver was blocked in by the hijacker’s car that preceded her and soon by traffic behind her.”

Ensure that you keep at least three metres between yourself and the car in front of you when stationary to prevent yourself from being in this position

Being alert on the road is the best way to avoid these potentially dangerous situations. “Quickly moving around a car that suddenly and expectedly stops, can make all the difference.

Reacting this way, however, is something you need to train yourself to do. When driving, accept that someone stopping suddenly in this manner may be a threat and that your best response is to immediately move around the obstacle.”


MasterDrive is adamant that no victim should feel the need to fight back, and in their words; ‘a car can be replaced, but a human life cannot’.

Two House Robbers Arrested

Two House Robbers Arrested

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It is the most comprehensive electronic monitoring system available and will protect your site 24/7. From our monitoring station we are able to detect any security breaches in real time and act accordingly.

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ROM installs state of the art digital CCTV systems. This includes the IP range of digital signal processing solid-state CCTV cameras, with a high resolution colour and monochrome ability.

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Local Armed Response
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Good Morning.
I am pleased to inform you that we managed to successfully arrest two house robbers in the early hours of this morning.
We picked up the two house robbers on our thermal cameras and they triggered the electric fence when they jumped over into the Estate.
Fidelity, ADT and Duma Security started searching for the two suspects. We also got assistance from Ricardo from No Jack who was largely responsible for finding the suspects with his K9 unit using our Thermal cameras to guide him and the rest of the security teams.
All stolen goods were recovered and the two house robbers arrested.
A big thank you and congratulations to our security team, to Remote Offsite Monitoring (“ROM”), to Fidelity Management, to ADT, to Duma tactical and to Ricardo from No Jack. It was a brilliant team effort.
Congratulations and well done!