Elections: the rural vote

This is an extract from the article written for Al Jazeera Opinion:

When voters went to the polls May 7 to cast a vote for a national and provincial government, there was already a sense of resignation because in spite of the campaign from opposition parties such as the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) , we all knew the African National Congress (ANC) would win the national election with an overwhelming support provincially. The ANC has been the default government since 1994 when Nelson Mandela became the first democratically elected president after apartheid.

This default position is largely due to what we know happens to liberation movements: They are supported by the majority of the population, often for complex reasons long after the liberation moment has ended. One would think that given the ANC's record of corruption, lack of service delivery in poor areas, the Marikana massacre, disgruntled worker unions, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, voters would be happy to let go of the ANC after 20 years. But this is not the case. Predictions from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) indicated that the ANC would still be in power after these elections, although it wouldn't have the two-thirds majority it once enjoyed.

As the ANC celebrates victory, some analysts have pointed out that there has been a meaningful drop in support for the ANC in these elections, especially in urban areas. Indeed, rural areas have been considered ANC's stronghold for some time.  But is confidence in ANC dropping only among the urban dwellers?

The rest of the article can be found here: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/05/south-africa-elections-rural-vot-20145108365499913.html


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