The African National Congress (ANC) received a bloody nose in the 2016 local elections when it lost three major metros to the opposition.
Will the fractured ruling party be able to reunite under Cyril Ramaphosa and gain a majority at the polls in 2019?
Or could the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) overcome their vast ideological divide to oust the ANC?
Veteran political journalist Jan-Jan Joubert sat down with Eusebius McKaiser and spoke about his new book that looks at all the possible scenarios.
It takes us behind the scenes into a world of political horse-trading to analyse the options available to all the parties in the run-up to the next election.
Joubert says to some extent, elections are an emotional and personal choice.
You have to decide to get up that morning, queue and vote. Or you can just stay in bed and not vote or decide to vote for someone else. It is a personal choice made by millions of South Africans and it is also one that we are all equal before the law.— Jan Jan Joubert, Author and Journalist
He adds that elections in 2016 were quite predictable if one looks at the trends from by-elections and the trends from electoral registration numbers and the outcome.
Let's just limit it for a moment to those three metros which the opposition took from the ANC, Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, and Tshwane, - that was predictable and was predicted by myself in my writing.— Jan Jan Joubert, Author and Journalist
What I am trying to do, is take that gasp of surprise away and to just say, yes you too can do this, it was logical, it was a decision and it was entirely predictable.— Jan Jan Joubert, Author and Journalist
Joubert says you could see from the voting patterns what the registration patterns could be. When he transposed the numbers, he could see that it showed the ANC would lose some power.
What you must look at at the moment, is that in a system like South Africa, where every vote is equal, there is something called the turnout differential, which means that if you are the political party, you want more of your people to vote percentage-wise than your opponents, then you will have a relatively better result. And that has always been the secret to the success of the DA.— Jan Jan Joubert, Author and Journalist
The turnout in DA areas is between 20 and 30% higher than in ANC areas in municipal areas, that differential becomes smaller in national and provincial elections.— Jan Jan Joubert, Author and Journalist
But what we are seeing in current situations, is that the mess the DA is making of their internal governance is costing them hugely, especially in the Western Cape.— Jan Jan Joubert, Author and Journalist
In summary, your prospects of electoral success in 2019 depends on whether you can succeed on the day of voting to energise your voters enough to come out.
You cant win it if you are not in it.— Jan Jan Joubert, Author and Journalist
Listeners also called in and engaged Joubert on his book and his thoughts on the 2019 national elections.
Listen below to the full interview: