The ANC used to have a state-of-the-art campaign machine. It was professional, made sensible use of research and advertising,  and carefully targeted its appeals to voters. This week, however, the pressure began to tell. In two key provinces, Western Cape and Gauteng, the ANC has been wracked by tantalising hopes and terrible fears. These provinces represent the future of the country, with their young and growing populations and their vibrant economic activity. As usual, the ANC’s campaign head, Fikile Mbalula, has rallied prominent celebrities. Actress and model Minnie Dlamini; rapper AKA; seductive lyricist Chomee; hunky actor Ntokozo Dlamini; and celebrity writer and philosopher Peter Bruce: all have rallied to the ANC’s cause. The ANC’s internal polls, however, suggest the movement is still in danger. It has responded with an uncharacteristic throw of the dice: by instigating protests against the DA-led city governments in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Cape Town. The “Alex shutdown”...

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