The stage is set for a bruising battle in KwaZulu-Natal as EFF, IFP and ANC prepare for election

Thursday, January 25, 2024
 – KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) will be an important battlefield of the 2024 elections, as the country faces its most unpredictable election of the post-apartheid era this year.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and African National Congress (ANC) are among the big political parties that are going to be launching their election manifestos at the Moses Mabida Stadium in the coming weeks.

“It certainly looks like a very interesting period in KZN, due to two factors. KZN shares the national vote. Although Gauteng is larger, KZN shares the national vote, which has been growing steadily increasing over the years. The support patterns are changing in the province,” says Michael Edkins, an independent election analyst.

Michael says parties see opportunities to make gains, which would also significantly affect the national total which could be largely affected by what will unfold in KZN.

“Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK) has to eat into ANC support in the province in 2009, and 2014 was largely due to former President Jacob Zuma; we don’t know how many of those voters will follow Zuma to MK, we don’t know how many could return to IFP in seeing what is happening within the ANC.”

South Africa’s fourth largest party, the IFP, is the Official Opposition in KZN and controls the majority of municipalities in the province. 

The party will launch its manifesto on 10 March at the Moses Mabhida stadium, a month after the EFF’s manifesto launch on 10th February at the same venue.

Analysts say that EFF’s decision to launch its election manifesto at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban is expected to bolster the party’s national support base.

In a recent ‘favourability score’ poll by the Social Research Foundation (SRF), former President Zuma scored 28.9% amongst all registered voters nationally and 63.1% amongst all registered voters in his home province, KZN, a critical electoral battleground for political parties.

The poll results showed that almost one in three South Africans were favorable towards Zuma. His new political party, Umkhonto Wesizwe, was expected to cost the ruling ANC votes in this year’s elections.

The SRF surveyed 1,400 registered voters nationwide and 2,400 in KwaZulu-Natal.

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