Here's a remarkable and democratically depressing fact: South African voters rarely change their national government. Under the whites-only franchise until 1989, the National Party won an extraordinary 11 consecutive elections. Since the advent of full democracy in 1994, the ANC has won five polls on the trot. The 40-plus percentage points separating the ANC from its nearest opponent, the DA, suggests the African Nationalists have even less to fear from their opponents than the Afrikaner Nationalists did.There has been a more dramatic change at local level. But the results of the 2016 municipal elections were more a consequence of Jacob Zuma depressing turnout among his voters than huge shifts in political allegiance. Of course, no national liberation government lasts forever. Witness the demise of the Indian Congress Party or the Israeli Labour Party or the Mexican Institutional Revolutionary Party. But in each case it took three to seven decades to vote them out. All this indicate...

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