The Democratic Alliance South Africa’s mostly White opposition is planning to build on the divisions within the ANC and the unrest in most townships in Gauteng to get the extra 25 percent of electoral support it needs to win the province in the next elections, scheduled for 2014.
This would be significant because it would bring to two the number of provinces under DA rule and bring the party closer to its aim of unseating the African National Congress.
The DA is running the Western Cape and it is hoping to attract a million more Black voters – or at least the 25 percent of non-traditional DA voters – to wrest power from the ruling party in Gauteng.
In the last provincial and national elections, which took place in 2009, the DA got 26 percent of the vote in Gauteng. However, the DA’s electoral support came from its White strongholds in the suburbs, and DA Gauteng leader John Moodey was concerned that the party had reached a ceiling when it came to White support.
The ANC won almost 64 percent of the vote, with Cope trailing at 7.78 percent. The Freedom Front Plus secured 1.63 percent and the IFP took 1.49 percent. The other 15 parties that contested that election got less than 1 percent of the votes.
As this weekend’s DA provincial council – at which the strategy would be tabled – got under way, Moodey was confident the party could oust the ANC at the next polls, either on its own or with the backing of other opposition parties.
“If we work hard in the political climate in which communities are dissatisfied, we could get over 51 percent of the vote,” he said.
Should this not happen, the DA was hoping to form a coalition with other opposition parties to run the provincial government.
“It is not impossible,” said Moodey, adding that the coalition would be possible, depending on whether the DA managed to increase its support by 10 percent and the other opposition parties retained theirs.
The other factor would be the Mangaung ANC conference in December at which President Jacob Zuma is expected to face his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, for the top job in the ruling party.
A top DA official said the divisions would work in favour of opposition parties, as most ANC supporters might be disillusioned as a result of infighting.
“Should it happen that divisions continue, it will work in our favour. People will not go and vote and those will be your die-hard ANC members. The only way to rescue the ANC is if there is one candidate who will unite all the factions in the party,” said the DA member on condition of anonymity because only official party spokesmen are allowed to comment to the media. – Sunday Independent