If the polls are right, the ANC will suffer its worst ever electoral reverse in the local elections due to be held in South Africa on 18 May. The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, seems poised to win not only Cape Town, its main base, but to gain seats right across the country. In the Western Cape the DA will probably win a majority of towns and cities; it will make inroads in the Northern Cape and could even evict the ANC from its Eastern Cape stronghold of Port Elizabeth. The ANC’s corruption and maladministration have demoralised even its own activists, but the other main reason for its plight is the decisive movement towards the DA of both the country’s 1.3 million Indians and, especially, the mixed-race Coloureds, the predominant group in the Western and Northern Cape. At last a more competitive party system seems possible in South Africa.
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