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Many voters might see Ramaphosa and Maimane as pretty interchangeable from a pure leadership perspective, but the likely winner will be the ANC President given the strong emotional and liberation cachet he still carries along with a very real and impressive sense of gravitas.

So by the beginning of 2018, the DA was floundering to position itself for these changes. And, both the ANC and EFF were developing new strategies of their own as the DA seemed frozen in the headlights of Ramaphoria.

For the ANC, Ramaphosa offered them a lifeline at extending their political shelf-life with a solid majority in 2019 – an electoral feat that was in doubt after the last local government elections. But even for Ramaphosa, the ANC’s quest for 50% plus one of the popular vote remains in jeopardy.

The Democratic Alliance is under pressure. Over the last decade, it has radiated strength from its strong-hold of Cape Town and the broader Western Cape. Both its electoral support and its performance across the municipal and provincial spheres gained as voters rewarded the party with their increasing support at the polls. Whilst the party’s performance in government was good even by independent assessments, it fed off a declining performance from the ANC and in particular, the Jacob Zuma Presidency.As the Zuma era heralded a broad-based deterioration in most aspects of delivery and ethical standards, so the DA was able to cement itself as a real alternative. Of course, the DA had already scored massive electoral swings when Ebrahim Rasool’s Western Cape ANC itself imploded even before the Zuma rot set in. It’s as if one disaster fed another success. And the DA was the prime beneficiary. Two major factors have shifted this. Firstly, the advent of the EFF provided those frustrated wi...

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