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Mmusi Maimane is Democratic Alliance’s first black leader; only 34 and born in Soweto, a poor township southwest of Johannesburg, he is positioned to win the votes of black urban voters (Photo: dpa)

South Africa’s ANC regroups as slumping economy boosts opposition

The African National Congress (ANC) remains South Africa`s leading political force. Yet last year’s general elections showed a political landscape undergoing slow but steady change – a process that could bolster the country’s stability. The official winner – the ANC – suffered significant losses, while its main opponents – Hellen Zille’s Democratic Alliance (DA) and Julius Malema`s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – both made gains. Struggling with corruption scandals and a faltering economy, President Jacob Zuma has disillusioned many among the ANC’s support base. As the 2016 local elections draw near, and with national elections due in 2019, the two main opposition parties are positioning themselves as credible alternatives.

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Professor Jaime Nogueira Pinto
Perceptions of South Africa’s second political force, the Democratic Alliance, as a ‘white party’ have long capped its support among black voters. According to a 2014 Ipsos survey, half of the DA’s support base was white, 27 per cent coloured, 20 per cent black and 3 per cent Indian
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