Over the past month the Treasury and Reserve Bank have announced an austerity budget and an increase in interest rates. This will impede President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recovery plan and dash hopes that the ANC will have a good story to tell about the economy when he goes to his party’s national conference at the end of 2022 to seek another term as its leader, and to the national polls in 30 months.

Sunday Times editor S’thembiso Msomi put forward two nightmare scenarios for the ANC. The first is that the party will fall below 50% at the national polls in 2024. The second is that Ramaphosa may not be re-elected in 2022. “The tide is turning against him, even among those who were vociferous in campaigning for his presidency. Many simply don’t believe he has the ability to arrest the decline, pointing out that his individual popularity failed to enthuse voters.” Under this scenario, the party may implode if Ramaphosa is recalled and its share of the vote would plunge well below 40%...

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