South Africa: Election Shows Many South Africans Losing Faith in ‘Pompous’ A.N.C. | The New York Times

A week before South Africa’s local elections on Wednesday, the Zithas held a family meeting inside their entertainment room to decide how to vote. Loyal backers of the African National Congress in every election since the end of apartheid, the family decided it was time for a change. Now, on a leisurely Sunday morning, as his wife and daughter got ready for church, Danny Zitha, 61, a former high school teacher, said the long-governing A.N.C. had left him disillusioned because of its corruption, arrogance and incompetence. He will never go back, he said. “Not at all, as long as I’m alive, sorry,” he said, adding with a laugh, “Maybe after death.” The A.N.C., which was the party of Nelson Mandela and helped free South Africa from white-minority rule, suffered its worst losses ever at the polls in the municipal elections last week. Unrivaled for the past two decades, the party lost control of two black-majority cities, including the capital, Pretoria, in what many believe is a profound change in how race and the legacy of apartheid influence South African politics. The party’s decline was especially steep in the biggest cities, with many black, middle-class voters in places like Chantelle, a suburb of Pretoria, turning against it. Twenty-two years after the end of apartheid, such voters appeared more concerned with mundane matters like good governance and taxes than with the party’s heroic liberation past.

Editorials: The South African election 2014 – sound and fury signifying… nothing? | Daily Maverick

This year’s national election in South Africa is arguably the country’s most important election since the advent of the universal franchise in 1994. While that earlier election was enormously important in confirming the negotiated settlement that had ended the National Party’s whites-only domination, it was a foregone conclusion that the ANC would be the big victor. This time around, while the ANC is almost certainly going to win a sizeable majority yet again (at least nationally), in the absence of a totally unanticipated, magnitude 8 electoral earthquake, the real core of this election is an increasingly vigorous debate over South Africa’s economic future circumstances. And yet, with the possible exception of a website or two like South Africa Votes 2014 and some often interesting, informative, even challenging writing by columnists like Steve Friedman, Judith February and Eusebius McKaiser, most of the media attention over this election has been in the form of reporting that mostly can be tabbed as either a kind of “horserace” or “insider trading” coverage. Even the various broadcast and open forum debates that have been held have, too often, been opportunities for the rolling out of the usual media-friendly sound bites and snappy retorts – rather than any sustained, substantive analyses of the economic policies the various candidates and parties have been proposing as panaceas to address the country’s current malaise.