Mmusi Maimane, Leader of South Africa’s Democratic Alliance (DA)
The leader of South Africa‘s opposition Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, said on Friday it could win the 2019 election with the help of other parties as the African National Congress becomes increasingly divided under President Jacob Zuma.
The ANC has comfortably won every parliamentary election since it swept to power under Nelson Mandela at the end of apartheid in 1994 and the DA had previously made ruling South Africa a long-term ambition.
Most analysts put the chances of a DA-coalition victory in 2019 as low but believe it is achievable in 2024 if the ANC continues to disappoint its black support base.
The ANC has lost popularity under Zuma following a string of scandals and a failure to address slow economic growth, high unemployment and gaping inequality.
The DA hit a new high last year by taking control of three of the largest cities from the ANC in local elections as part of coalitions with the hard-left Economic Freedom Fighters and smaller opposition movements.
The results took many politicians and political analysts by surprise and opened a divide in the ANC ahead of a conference in December where it will choose Zuma’s successor as party leader. Zuma can stay on as South African president until 2019.
Maimane told Reuters the local election results and Zuma’s unpopularity will give the DA the edge in two years’ time.
“The people must be aware that the project ultimately is about the removal of the ANC and in 2019 there must be a DA-led coalition of governments, as we’ve seen in the cities,” said Maimane, a former preacher and the DA’s first black leader.
“I’m convinced that the starting point is Zuma.”
The ANC won 62 percent of the vote in the 2014 national election, down from 66 percent in 2009. The DA increased its share to 22 percent, from 17 percent. If the ANC falls below 50 percent, the DA could rule under a coalition.
Although Maimane has helped to broaden the DA’s appeal, one of its biggest challenges is changing the perception that it is a party for the white-minority, an accusation the ANC promotes.
“The criticism that we protect white interests is ANC propaganda. They want to say there are black parties and there are white parties,” Maimane, who is married to a white South African, said.
“The dream is always for a non-racial party.”
Zuma has faced public protests calling for his resignation in the last month after he fired his fourth finance minister in less than two years, shaking investor confidence.
Zuma also faces a no-confidence vote in parliament this month following the cabinet reshuffle that the DA and some opponents in the ANC said was intended to insert loyalist who will prevent him from being removed.
Source: Business & Financial News, U.S & International Breaking News – Optimize | Reuters
- South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) elects Mmusi Maimane as first black leader
- Could Mmusi Maimane become the first black leader of South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance (DA)?
- Is South Africa’s Democratic Alliance serious about tackling racism?
- Helen Zille’s move opens way for black leader of South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance
- Cyril Ramaphosa tops list of candidates for next President of South Africa, according to New World Wealth survey (Infographic)
- Building a Boston in Cape Town: $13B dream rises from ashes of apartheid
- South Africa’s President Zuma sacks Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in major cabinet reshuffle
- South Africa’s opposition leader Helen Zille steps down
- South Africa: What does Mmusi Maimane’s win mean for the Democratic Alliance (DA)?
- Zuma’s ex-wife given boost in South Africa leadership race
- Cape Town votes to name highway after Frederik de Klerk despite opposition
- South African union backs unionist-turned-tycoon Ramaphosa as next President
- Why South Africa’s president is right and wrong to blame apartheid for power cuts in 2015
- Jacob Zuma says South Africa’s ruling ANC is ready for female leader
- South African Opposition Suspends Ex-Leader Over Colonialism Tweets
- South Africa’s biggest union group backs Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma
- South Africa’s first female president could be president Zuma’s ex-wife
- Geopolitics Key to South Africa’s $100 Billion Nuclear Plan
- Race and South Africa: The size of an apartheid leader’s statue tells you everything you need to know
- Full transcript: FT interview with Mac Maharaj on Mandela, Zuma and South Africa
- South Africa’s Jacob Zuma outlines land reform plans
- South Africa’s opposition expels member Dianne Kohler-Barnard over Facebook post
- South Africa unions to Zuma: Time to go
- Will AU Chair Dlamini-Zuma be South Africa’s next President?
- Looking back to move forward: Elsie Kanza, Senior Director & Head of Africa, World Economic Forum
- It’s time for South African business to step up: Gloria Serobe, Founder & Executive Director, WIPHOLD
- South Africa’s President changes 10 of the country’s 35 ministers in cabinet shuffle
- ‘No chance in hell’ opposition will remove Zuma, Finance Minister says (Video)
- South Africa falls into second recession in a decade
- South Africa plans to leave International Criminal Court
- Race relations at a crossroads in Mandela’s South Africa
- South Africa’s Rainbow Nation myth: Would Chris Hani have made a great president?
- The Case for Bargain Hunting in South Africa
- Watch short video of Nelson Mandela’s just released first ever interview (Videos)
- Apartheid’s legacy: Dr Death and Prime Evil. When to forgive, when not to forget
- South African Trevor Noah to replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show
- S&P downgrades South Africa’s credit rating to junk
- South Africa and China sign nuclear energy pact
- Africa to Obama: Mind your own business
- Nhlanhla Nene, South Africa’s New Finance Chief, Pledges Fiscal Discipline