Today’s general election to elect the National Assembly and provincial legislatures has been dubbed the most important and historic. Historic because it marks the 30th anniversary of SA’s transition from apartheid to all-race democracy; important because of high expectations that the free-fall decline of the past 15 years will be arrested by the outcome.

Most polls have predicted a steep fall below the 50% mark for the ANC, which has governed SA and eight of the nine provinces  since 1994. The ANC is unpopular. And, yes, its share of votes will decline. But it is not unpopular enough to be dislodged in Wednesday’s election. It will still form the next government...

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