Reflections on the 2019 South African General Elections is a critical reflection on the key lessons of Elections 2019 in South Africa, focusing on the future of the country’s electoral democracy.
The volume engages questions on land, election campaigns, voter turnout, voter apathy, and how opposition parties will be forced to co-exist in the context of declining electoral dominance the ANC once comfortably held. An important reflection on the lessons of the 2019 South African General Elections, the contributors ask: Quo Vadis South Africa? The 2019 General Elections marked a watershed in South Africa’s political landscape. The ANC under the banner of a narrative of regeneration and getting back on the moral path dipped below the 60 % mark for the first time in South Africa’s democratic history. This decline in electoral support for the party may be interpreted as a degeneration of the ANC through the loss of its moral stature, the erosion of its integrity and disillusionment with its performance as a governing party. Opposition political parties could not capitalise on this seeming disillusionment with the ruling ANC. Caught in their own factional battles and in the midst of corruption scandals, opposition parties were unable to successfully increase their share of the vote, and capture the undecided and disillusioned voter.
Considering the future of South Africa’s electoral democracy at 25 years of democracy, Reflections on the 2019 South African General Elections will be of great interest to scholars of African Studies, South Africa, Governance and Elections.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Qua Vadis South Africa? Reflections on the 2019 South African General Elections
Joleen Steyn Kotze and Narnia Bohler-Muller
2. Do election campaigns matter in South Africa? An examination of fluctuations in support for the ANC, DA, IFP, and NNP 1994 – 2009
3. Voting preferences of protesters and non-protesters in three South African elections (2014 – 2019): Revisiting the 'Ballot and the Brick’
Carin Runciman, Martin Bekker, Terri Maggot
4. Land reform and belonging in South Africa: A place-making perspective
Leslie Bank/Tim Hart
5. Co-existence as a strategy for opposition parties in challenging the African National Congress’ one-party dominance
Isaac Khambule, Amarone Nomdo, Babalwa Siswana, and Gilbert Fokou
6. Election of the national president: South Africa’s approach and its implications for presidentialism
7. The decline in partisan voting and the rise in electoral uncertainty in South Africa’s 2019 General Elections
8. The unconvinced vote: The nature and determinants of voting intentions and the changing character of South African electoral politics
Ben Roberts, Jare Struwig, Steven L. Gordon, and Yul Derek Davids
9. Conclusion: Quo Vadis South Africa?
Joleen Steyn Kotze and Narnia Bohler Muller
Joleen Steyn Kotze is Senior Research Specialist in Democracy and Citizenship at the Human Science Research Council’s Developmental, Capable, and Ethical State Research Programme and Research Fellow at the Centre for Gender and African Studies, University of the Free State, South Africa.
Narnia Bohler-Muller is Divisional Director at the Human Science Research Council’s Developmental, Capable and Ethical State Research Programme and Research Fellow at the Centre for Gender and African Studies, University of the Free State, South Africa.