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.

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