Voters queue to cast their ballots as night falls outside a polling station in Alexandra township in Johannesburg, May 8 2019. Picture: REUTERS/MIKE HUTCHINGS
Voters queue to cast their ballots as night falls outside a polling station in Alexandra township in Johannesburg, May 8 2019. Picture: REUTERS/MIKE HUTCHINGS

We are maturing as a democracy. Besides the normal expected politics around an election, there are no real concerns about the validity of the outcome of the general elections.

In my view the most meaningful trends are:

  • The two multiracial parties, ANC and DA, remain the leading parties. That bodes well for the future.
  • The parties that rely on narrow racial support bases, such as the EFF and FF+, have grown largely due to gains from the ANC and DA, respectively, which have struggled with internal problems. However, given their mainly racial support bases they have now reached their ceilings.
  • Disgruntled DA members, many of them former NP supporters, have found a more natural home in the FF+. This will make the DA more acceptable to other South Africans.
  • Smaller parties, without any specific support base, are losing ground, some even in danger of disappearing.

The main messages are:

  • Voters expressed their disappointment in all parties by the low voter turnout.
  • The ANC received a wake-up call, while President Cyril Ramaphosa, without whom the ANC would have fared worse, at least indirectly received a vote of confidence.
  • The voters clearly are not impressed with the radical policies of the EFF, despite their disappointment with the ANC.

There are no real surprises, and the results as a whole are exactly what SA needs right now.

Dawie Jacobs
Sterrewag