Daily Maverick

What happens to the ANC will affect all of us

- Yours in defence of truth, Heather

Dear DM168 readers,

Whether we are bored with the Luthuli House intrigues or not, what goes on in the African National Congress cannot be ignored or dismissed. Just like its apartheid-era predecesso­r, the National Party, which governed SA from 1948 to 1994, supported by the minority whites-only electorate, the ANC has consistent­ly been voted into power by the majority of all South Africans.

White South Africans benefited royally from their loyalty to the Broederbon­d-backed apartheid security state and from voting in the leaders of the NP. Their children had the best education at the time for free, jobs were reserved for them, and so were houses and suburbs and the 87% of the land grabbed from black South Africans who previously farmed and lived there. I do not say owned, because individual ownership was a Western import.

Arguably the most terrible and horrendous sacrifice white NP voters had to make was the risk of losing their sons in the brutal Border War.

Are black South Africans just as loyal to the party they perceive to be their liberators – even if they have been disappoint­ed at every turn by broken promises and pathetic mismanagem­ent of state services – as white South Africans were to the NP? Could the ANC rule for 46 years just like the NP did? Recent polls by Ipsos suggest not. Ipsos found that if an election were held tomorrow, the ANC would get 42%, the DA 11%, the EFF 9% and Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA 3% of the votes at a national level. But as my colleague Tim Cohen pointed out, SA is abominably served by pollsters who, come every election, seem to be way off the mark.

The thing is, since the dawn of an inclusive democracy, South Africans have placed their trust in the party of liberation way ahead of the nearest competitio­n. The next national election will tell us the fate of the DA under John Steenhuise­n, but the fact remains that no one comes close to wooing the majority of voters from the ANC.

Why am I going on about this? Well, the ANC’s national conference is happening in December and Daily Maverick political writer Queenin Masuabi has the inside track on who is gunning for the top six leadership positions, and how the members will go about voting in the people who will most likely be in charge of governing our country after the next election in 2024. Love them or loathe them, what happens to the ANC in December will affect all of us who live here.

Share your thoughts on all of this with me and your fellow South Africans at heather@ dailymaver­ick.co.za.

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