Identity politics to take centre stage in general elections, posing challenges for ANC

Umkhonto weSizwe party at their rally at KwaXimba, near Cato Ridge. Picture; Doctor Ngcobo

Umkhonto weSizwe party at their rally at KwaXimba, near Cato Ridge. Picture; Doctor Ngcobo

Published Feb 26, 2024


Nationalism and identity politics are poised to play significant roles in the forthcoming general elections, marking one of the most fiercely contested in the 30 years of democracy.

These are the words of the political analyst Professor Andre Duvenage on Monday.

Duvenage said these politics were not going to influence only KwaZulu-Natal but some parts of the country as well.

“This can be used in the advantage of parties like the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party to the disadvantage of the ANC.

“This would cripple the ANC as the party had suffered deep division back in 2016, when there was a contestation between (President Cyril) Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma,” he explained.

Duvenage said the split began to grow bigger in the conference in 2022, saying that even though Ramaphosa managed to bring many others together, he also excluded others who now felt they would not make it in the deployment list.

“This uncertainty from these excluded members would create opportunities for people to leave the organisation.

“And there’s another factor of the MK that is Zulu nationalism and yes without any doubt, senior people like the former minister Lindiwe Sisulu might leave the party.

Political parties have put up posters to attract people to vote for them in the upcoming elections. | Bongani Mbatha Independent Newspapers

“If the current trend that the MK is gaining a lot of momentum and it is representing itself not only in KZN and if it is true that some of the surveys are indicating that MK can take away the 50% of the support away from the ANC, but I also think we will get biggie bird syndrome,” Duvenage said.

On the issue of Ramaphosa creating jobs, he said this was the very same thing that would make the party struggle more as it was impossible for him or his party to create opportunities of jobs in an economy that was stagnant.

“This is a far-fetched, how does one create jobs in the economy where taxes are probably going to increase, where several taxpayers are becoming less and less.

“We have people who are getting social grants increasing each day, that’s not an environment where you are going to address unemployment.”

Duvenage continued to say for jobs to be created, the economy needed to grow 3 to 4% or higher.

According to the Ipsos poll, there’s going to be a huge surprise in the political landscape post the 2024 general elections.

This as the organisation predicts that the ANC would possibly receive less than 40% of the vote.

The Star

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