So what about the workers?

Staff Writer | May 12, 2019
The parties on the far left, the extreme racial nationalists, and the self-promoting, didn’t so well at the polls.

Although Hlaudi Motsoeneng was a ‘media celebrity’ during his reign at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), his African Content Movement (ACM) didn’t grab the attention of voters.

Black First Land First (BLF), led by Andile Mngxitama – who numbers among his friends Kim Jong Un, the dictator of North Korea – came nowhere. This happened despite, or because, of his racist and violent utterances, as well as court and Human Rights Commission pronouncements.

The BLF were routed at the polls. If the media starts to take actual popular support rather than sensationalism seriously when allocating media space, we should be spared much of the ravings of these types.

The ACM and BLF are Zuma-aligned, as is Mzwanele Manyi’s right-wing, populist African Transformation Movement (ATM), with a base in conservative churches. However, church membership did translate into some votes. The ATM obtained 2 seats in the National Assembly, as did Patricia de Lille’s Good Party.

The Socialist Revolutionary Workers' Party (SRWP), formed by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), gained no seats. Numsa, with a membership of over 300 000 workers, is the largest trade union in South Africa, but this is clearly not enough to translate into votes. Despite its size, 300 000 is not a mass base. Some have argued that the party only got up and running a month before the poll, but it has been talked about for over three years.

The 6-week old South African Capitalist Party, or ‘Purple Cow’, did not disgrace itself. It got 15 915 votes.

The seventh national and provincial election in 2024 will provide another opportunity.


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