Friday, 2 December 2016

Marcel Paret on Contested ANC Hegemony in the Urban Townships

Abstract: Is ANC hegemony stable or in decline? The 2014 election provided support for both interpretations, as the ANC registered its fifth consecutive victory but with a declining share of the vote, especially in urban areas. In what ways and among which groups is the ANC maintaining its hegemony? This study draws on an exit survey of 3,782 voters in sixteen communities in and around Gauteng Province, with a particular focus on impoverished and protest-affected urban townships. The results show that while the ANC continues to derive power from its role as the party of national liberation, pluralistic party competition is deepening. This competition centres on the quality of governance and material provision such as houses and social grants, and is refracted through divisions based on age, gender, race, and ethnicity. Evidence also suggests that protests in communities and workplaces are translating into support for opposition parties such as the EFF, implying a broader challenge to ANC hegemony.