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Has the ANC lost touch with South Africans: The party over people

Author: Nicola de Jager, Department of Political Science, Stellenbosch University

Prof. de Jager's research paper titled "Has the African National Congress lost touch with its people? The party over people," provides a structured and informed examination of the ANC's alignment with its original purpose.

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This paper has been sponsored by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Country Office South Africa. These views are those of the author and do not represent those of the University or the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.

 

It was expected that the African National Congress (ANC) as part of South Africa’s liberation movement would act in the best interest of South Africa and its citizens when it took the political helm in 1994. However, electoral support for the ANC declined to 28% of the Voting Eligible Population (VEP) in the 2019 elections as did trust in the party and its leaders. This has gone together with decreasing satisfaction with the performance of the ruling party’s presidents. In this paper de Jager presents data from Afrobarometer to illustrate the increasing chasm between the party and the people. And contends that part of the explanation for this chasm lies in the ANC’s pursuit of the historical socialist tradition of the 1960s and the vanguard party, rather than the historical constitutionalist tradition of its founders, and servant-leadership.

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