After Friday night’s dramatic and far-reaching Cabinet reshuffle much has been said about the ANC’s electoral prospects for 2019, especially given widespread erosion of support for the party in the 2016 local government elections. In response to the reshuffle, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation issued a statement arguing that "concern and unease [about the state of the nation] was expressed by the general public during the August 2016 local government elections, which, among others, resulted in significant loss of support for the ANC, the dominant governing party … since 1994". Dismissed finance minister Pravin Gordhan has also alluded to the loss of confidence apparent in last August’s elections. While the ANC acknowledged the loss somewhat cryptically at the time of the polls — and undertook to engage in a period of introspection — how worried should the party be about its support base? Especially now that three of the top six have expressed concern about the president’s most recent actio...

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