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Will an overwhelming electoral mandate bolster President Cyril Ramaphosa’s hand to effect the kind of change SA and the ANC need? It is logical that with resounding support from the electorate, Ramaphosa should be able to direct government policy with a firmer hand and take charge, in contrast to the “transitional” approach witnessed since he took office in February 2018. A 61% or 62% victory for the ANC in the upcoming election could have a huge impact both internally and externally for Ramaphosa — particularly after his narrow intraparty win over Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at Nasrec in 2017. There are two different perspectives in political circles. Ramaphosa’s detractors believe that even such a mandate would not alter the dynamics inside the ANC and the president would continue to be hampered by his slim victory. They say the “realignment” would begin almost immediately after the elections and peak at the party’s next national general council. According to this view, the national ex...

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