Natasha Marrian Deputy editor: Financial Mail

The race for Gauteng next year is shaping up to be a gruelling battle. Both the ANC and the DA have had a mixed bag of victories and losses, but it is early days and formal campaigning has yet to kick off in earnest. There are constantly shifting variables but there is one certainty: the economy is going to be a critical factor, especially in Gauteng. Shock GDP figures for the first quarter, coupled with unemployment rising once again in the second quarter of 2018 to its highest level yet, does not bode well for the ANC. Gauteng Premier David Makhura said in an interview that it was clear that when the national government sneezes, Gauteng catches a cold, and this was evident in the party’s electoral performance in both the 2014 national election and the 2016 local government election. The ANC slipped to 54% in Gauteng in 2014 from 64% in 2009. In the local government election, aside from losing Johannesburg and Tshwane, its overall support in the province fell to 46%. It is too earl...

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