2019 South African general election: Analysis and News

'We need to see where we have lost votes, apply those lessons to 2021 election'

South Africans took to the polls on Wednesday, and with over 70% of the counting complete, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has lost some of its more conservative white support.

Read: DA claims flawed voting process may delay weekend results

To702's Bongani Bingwa talks to Pretoria University's professor Siphamandla Zondi, and DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe.

The decline in support has to do with a crisis of strategy. The strategy all along had been to consolidate the white vote and the liberal vote. But that strategy has been overtaken by events and things have changed, and that same constituency they wanted to go for has been taken over by other parties.

Siphamandla Zondi, Professor - University of Pretoria

They are also now losing that conservative vote to the Freedom Front Plus, so things are just not working well for the DA.

Siphamandla Zondi, Professor - University of Pretoria

He says the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)'s support grew because they focused on a narrow constituency.

They have not gone beyond the black youth that is disfranchised - that is disenchanted and on the sidelines. But that constituency is tricky as you only get it if you can pull it to the polling stations.

Siphamandla Zondi, Professor - University of Pretoria

Even though the EFF has support among the black youth, the youth failed to turn out at the polling stations, he adds.

Also read: 'It's safe to say DA is well on its way to victory in Western Cape' - reporter

He says the current results tell us that an assessment of the South African voter indicates a move to the centre.

Selfe joins the conversation and says the DA has transitioned from a party of minorities into a party for all South Africans.

I think it is inevitable that some minority support will have shifted to the Freedom Front Plus, to GOOD and to maybe some other parties. This is part of a repositioning of the party and we will have to learn from this election.

James Selfe, Federal executive chairperson - DA

We need to engage in introspection. We need to see where we have lost votes and apply those lessons to the 2021 election.

James Selfe, Federal executive chairperson - DA

Listen below to the full interview:


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