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AfricaElects South African Provincial and National predictions

Written by Dylan Simpson with contributions from Li Zhi Rieken and Adrian Elimian

In our final article ahead of the South African election, we give our predictions on the possible results nationwide and for the three largest provinces: Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape. This analysis will roughly outline the reasons we believe these results will occur, based on a combination of political analyses and polling data in the lead up to the election.


The national picture for South Africa is quite difficult to gauge due to the multiple moving parts, but we believe there are some clear factors at play that make it likely the ANC will lose its majority.

  • MK: In previous elections, the ANC gains in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) under Zuma were crucial as they allowed the party to stay afloat even when facing considerable losses in other provinces like the Western Cape and Gauteng. The splitting of IFP support under Zuma was a major electoral victory, enabling them to attract voters who had never previously supported them. However, with Zuma โ€” the key architect of this success โ€” now running against the ANC on a populist platform, he is cutting into a crucial segment of the ANC’s majority-winning voter coalition. It is exceedingly difficult to see a scenario where the MK party doesn’t win a huge number of votes amongst Zulus, given the devoted following he has cultivated amongst them. Given Zumaโ€™s huge following, the recent polling, as well as the rather effective campaigning of the MK party so far, we expect the MK party to secure a significant number of votes, mostly off of the ANC, EFF and IFP, ending up in 3rd place.
  • Record of the ANC: With unemployment remaining agonisingly high, the persistence of loadshedding, crippling water shortages, and the painful reality of endemic violence and crime, the belief that the ANC just need โ€œone more chanceโ€ is fading fast. This dire record in government is unlikely to allow them to win over new voters or undecideds, and will likely hurt their support amongst large numbers of middle aged black voters โ€” many facing unemployment and economic hardship.
  • Turnout and Demographics: The voter registration drive demonstrated particularly high numbers of people registering in majority-White VDโ€™s but to a lesser extent Coloured ones โ€” with Black-majority VDโ€™s falling far behind. With this, the ANC loses out on key support amongst its base; if previous trends continue, black voter turnout โ€” something which is key for the ANCโ€™s success โ€” is expected to be poor.
  • Age: As the years roll by, more and more of the ANCโ€™s old base of rural Black voters pass away. At the same time, a new generation of young and angry voters, unsatisfied with potholes and mere stories of liberation without proper action come of voting age. The ANCโ€™s voter base continues to shrink. The born free generation now make up the largest share of voters it has in South African history, and it is unlikely the ANC can gain much support from them.


Gauteng has several characteristics that make it highly likely to vote against the ANC at this election. It’s the youngest province in South Africa, with 28.6% of the population being between the ages of 18-34, the highest of any province. This means that many of its voters lack nostalgia for the ANC of old, instead associating it with poor governance and corruption. Gauteng is also highly urbanised, which trends suggest make it more likely to vote for opposition parties like the DA. In 2021, the ANCโ€™s grip on the province began to slip dramatically with them falling to 36%, losing hundreds of thousands of votes. While local elections do tend to return a lower level of support for the ANC than national ones, this still represents a worrying trend for the ANC.

The ANC have to worry about new threats in the province too, with the MK party poised to make big gains amongst the Zulu electorate in Gauteng (who make up around 20% of the population). ActionSA also has potential to harm the ANC, making huge gains in the ANCโ€™s former heartlands of Soweto.

In Gauteng, the ANC faces multiple electoral threats, which it will struggle to fight off simultaneously. Due to this, we believe the ANC will experience a dramatic decline in the province, losing its majority.


In this province, the importance of the new MK party, the heart and soul of Jacob Zuma, cannot be overstated. Zulus made up the vast majority of his loyal support base when he was the leader of the ANC, which means he is perfectly placed to make big gains in the KZN, the province home to the largest Zulu population. Even before the MK party, the EFF and ANC were both struggling against the IFP in by-elections located in rural and urban KZN areas; polling from IPSOS, the SRF and ChangeStartsNow have all shown big losses for the ANC too.

But the MK party has only further increased the ANCโ€™s decline, taking many of those loyal ANC voters who may have been hesitant to support the IFP and EFF, and expanding its voter base. While Zuma maintains the loyalty of his Zulu base, which polling and by-elections demonstrate, it will be exceedingly difficult for the ANC to maintain support in KZN, especially as the recent legal case barring Zuma from parliament only strengthens his anti-status quo image amongst his devoted supporters.

Western Cape

We believe this province is the most uncertain out of the 3 analysed due to its diverse racial demography and its unique governing history. While the ANC is not in power in the province, the DA has been able to demonstrate what they believe is an effective governing record. However, while inequality persists, many โ€” particularly from the Coloured community โ€” feel that the DA has abandoned them and look for other alternatives like the PA, especially in rural areas. While this is true, the DA maintains a crucial advantage in turnout, especially amongst its English speaking white base, which we believe can allow the party to insulate itself against many of the losses to the PA.

We believe that the ANC will see some decline here, largely to GOOD, the EFF and the PA. Although its legal case against Israel may have helped them amongst coloured muslim voters, polling also suggests a large degree of apathy on this issue; thus, the potential for large ANC gains here is minimal. 

Several polls have put the DA around the 50% mark โ€” sometimes just above, sometimes just below โ€” but given the good registration figures for the DA in their key heartlands, we believe the DA will manage to secure their majority even if they suffer some losses to the PA and other minor parties.

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