Yes, Nenegate, the Guptas and the constitutional court judgment have given the opposition plenty of ammunition. The rating agencies seem determined to pursue the downgrade to junk status. And few pitched for the rally in Port Elizabeth over last weekend. But are these even the big issues.
Where is the ANC’s home turf anyway? Some say that’s the eastern cape. The DA reckons they can win Nelson Mandela Metropolitan in the upcoming municipal elections on 3 August. But even if the DA’s ex farmer from Bedford unseats the ANC’s Danny Jordaan, will that be the be all and end all of the ANC.
In the 2012 National elections the ANC scored a smashing 73% majority in the eastern cape. But that that was only 1,5 million votes out of the total national ANC haul of 11 million votes. Even if the eastern cape is the third biggest population, it is a very poor third.
In stark contrast the ANC scored 2,5 million votes in both Gauteng and KZN in 2012.
Now lets go back in history. Prior to 1994 there was always that big question on whether or not KZN would follow Buthelezi and the IFP. Remember this was a big issue in the 1994 elections when the IFP only agreed to participate at the last minute and millions of stickers had to be printed to alter the ballots.
In the end Mandela magic won the day and the IFP support was nothing like as big as some predicted.
Now roll the clock forward to 2006. South Africa’s death rate had escalated to almost 700 000 pa with 50% being HIV/AIDS related. The pandemic was at its very absolute worst in Ulundi, KZN. And the ANC stood to loose much ground in KZN with Mbeki’s denial.
While everyone is sitting behind high walls and gloating at JZ’s apparent demise things have been happening in KZN, far beyond building the Nkandla swimming pool. This is not a question of JZ having to refund part of the R250 million. Government expenditure in KZN amounts to many billions.
With the rollout of antiretroviral therapy’s the HIV/AIDS pandemic has slowed to around 550 000 pa with 31% being HIV/AIDS related. The biggest improvement is in KZN. And one only has to drive through KZN to see all the other government projects.
So now lets presume that the ANC sends JZ packing back to KZN. The ANC’s KZN support base, the biggest province by number, would be fractured to the core.
So lets guess that JZ’s antics have cost the ANC a million votes nationally. Nobody knows the answer to that. But if JZ is booted the ANC could lose another million votes or more in KZN in one day.
So the 11 million votes could dwindle by 2 million to 9 million, that’s 50% of the 18 million voters. Awfully close to the magical 50% where coalition politics enters the discussion.
Viewed in this way it seems logical that JZ will serve full term, regardless of all consequences, except one, the ANC has to retain the KZN support base.
And for those who predict that Ramaphosa will soon be SA’s new president there is only have one question, ‘what has he got to offer KZN?’
Maybe it’s all as simple as that.