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President Cyril Ramahosa. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/FILIP SINGER
President Cyril Ramahosa. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/FILIP SINGER

The message of the local elections: the low voter turnout reflects an electorate that has lost its trust in the political leadership.

The ANC losing ground shows that where it comes to the running of their suburbs (matters close to home), voters are rejecting the empty promises and corruption of the ANC. The DA’s solid performance is attributable to its campaigning as an inclusive party and not simply an "anti" party. A proven track-record and solid principles, something I have pleaded for in the past, proved to be effective. Mud-slinging and empty promises are not a winning recipe.

The EFF remains stagnant. It is a noise factor, but not attractive to a more mature electorate. As long as the mainstream parties retain some credibility, the EFF with its revolutionary and unrealistic policies will remain on the sidelines of SA politics. Smaller parties remain ineffective, especially those with a narrow base (representing basically one population group or a narrow ideology).

The low voter turnout is a wake-up call to the bigger parties to pull up their socks. Voters are becoming more educated and past sentiments will no longer be enough to retain the traditional support-base. It had been a foregone conclusion that the ANC would come out as the strongest party overall, but voters have sent out a strong message to all parties that they will hold them responsible in future.

The outcome will strengthen the hand of President Cyril Ramaphosa in his efforts to steer the ANC away from corruption. If the DA can get its house in order, especially on a leadership level, it could make bigger inroads in the next national election.

Dawie Jacobs

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