Country Reports

South African Local Elections 2016

Candidates, Polls, Political Environment and Key Facts

South Africans are increasingly criticising the way democracy is implemented in their newly established regime and their hunger for change might echo a decline for the former liberation movement ANC. Political scandals, the rejection of corruption, grave economic turmoil and high inequalities coming from a darker past are the main topics that are debated by the candidates in 2016. Hence, the only thing that may have changed is the fact that the culture of impunity has become both the main issue and the main argument used by the opposition parties against the ruling party.

The upcoming elections are thus of utmost importance because they could potentially reinforce the increasing progression of the main opposition parties (Democratic Alliance, DA; Economic Freedom Fighters, EFF) at the expense of the African National Congress (ANC). The polls will provide a barometer as to how much the ANC’s reputation has been damaged as a result of multiple scandals surrounding the Presidency of Jacob Zuma but also by the incapacity to deliver services properly and a record of economic mismanagement. It will hence provide indicators of the country’s mood ahead of the next general election in 2019. Apart from the threat to the ANC’s dominance in urban areas, this election will take into account big issues: financial management of municipalities, service delivery, corruption, the drought, public transport, housing and job opportunities for the youth...

Please open the attached PDF document to further your understanding of the 2016 Local Elections context.

Written by Pierre-Olivier Teissier-Clement, Research Assistant South Africa