Upcoming local polls seen as referendum on Ramaphosa

While the governing African National Congress is hoping that these will result in a new leadership competent enough to overhaul the failing municipalities and restore the party’s waning credibility, the polls are also being viewed as a referendum on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “renewal” project and anti-graft measures.

Attempts by Ramaphosa to rid the party of corrupt leaders have resulted in a backlash by supporters of former president Jacob Zuma and suspended secretary general Ace Magashule. Related to this, infighting over positions and patronage has seen at least a half dozen ANC candidates gunned down countrywide. Destructive “service delivery” protests have also become a daily occurrence.

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