/ 20 April 2024

ANC assured of a clear majority, Ramaphosa says

Gettyimages 2030414078 594x594
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa arrives at the African National Congress party manifesto launch in Durban, South Africa, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. Photo: Leon Sadiki/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The ANC will surprise its detractors and win a clear majority in the 29 May elections, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Saturday as he hit the campaign trail in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The ANC has an overarching presence in KZN, and all other political parties that are emerging yesterday and so on, are trying to nibble at the edges and so on and all they will ever do is to nibble at the edges,” he told supporters.

Ramaphosa has spent the past two days in the province that is the stronghold of the former president Jacob Zuma, who threatens to eat into the ANC’s voter base with his fledgling uMKhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, and visited Inanda and Mariannhill on Saturday..

“The ANC has great hegemony here and we will emerge victorious because the people of KZN and indeed the people of South Africa love the ANC and we are going to surprise you and many others who think that no, the ANC is not going to have a clear majority,” Ramaphosa said.

“We are going to have a clear majority, so even the recent making of a party called the MK party will see what the ANC is all about, even here in KZN. I have no doubt about that.”

Ramaphosa faces the toughest election of his career in a vote where the ANC is forecast to lose its outright majority for the first time in 30 years. The party won 57.5% of the vote in the last general elections in 2019.

A survey by the Social Research Foundation published a fortnight ago bore the worst prognosis yet, suggesting the party’s vote share would drop to 37%, with the MK party polling around 13%. Earlier polls suggested the ruling party was in trouble but would still get well above 40% of the vote. 

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) last week asked the constitutional court for leave to appeal a ruling by the electoral court that found Zuma was allowed to run for parliament. It upheld an appeal by the MK party against a decision by the IEC to uphold two objections to Zuma’s parliamentary candidacy for the MP party in the 29 May vote.

It did so on the basis of the prohibition in section 47(1)(e) of the constitution on anyone sentenced to a prison term of 12 months or more without the option of a fine becoming a member of the National Assembly for the next five years.

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2021 for contempt of court.