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The local government election results were, above all, a plea for something new. It was not just the dismally low turnout; it was the drubbing all three major parties — the ANC, DA and EFF — received. Their collective vote share was 78%, down from 88% in 2016 and 89% in the national elections two years ago. For all three to fail at the same time is a sign, if ever there was one, of an electorate that is gatvol.

At first blush SA appears to be getting a smidgin of what it asked for. ActionSA, the Patriotic Front (PA) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) are all poised to become kingmakers in large metros; there is suddenly a new calculus to be made, and smaller parties are at the centre of it...

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