The South African Elections 2009: A Values Perspective
An Introduction: In analysing the recent national and provincial election in South Africa it is intended to use the “values prism” to evaluate the results. Commentators from a wide variety of viewpoints have analysed the results with the one major missing element being that of values and worldviews.
Dr. Don Beck of the Centre for Human Emergence, who has visited South Africa over sixty times since the early 1980’s and worked with a wide variety of local organisations considers that the country is a global laboratory in terms of the full spread of values present in our global village. Beck’s interest in South Africa follows the original research of Professor Clare Graves following the Second World War.
It is intended to focus on the major political players in South Africa, which are the African National Congress (ANC), theDemocratic Alliance (DA) and the recent breakaway party that split from the ANC at the end of 2008, the Congress of the People (COPE).
Following the elections where 77.3% of registered voters exercised their right to vote and which were largely peaceful and without major incident, a clear realignment of parties is likely, particularly among the smaller players.
The National Results:The results of the election resulted in the ANC receiving 65.9% of the national vote. The DA remains the Official Opposition on 16.7% with COPE as a very recent newcomer obtaining 7.4%. The balance of 9.0% is made up of the minor political players with the largest being the IFP at 4.5%.
Graham Linscott in his book “Uhuru & Renaissance: South Africa in a New Century” which he published in 2002 uses a graphic originally produced by Dr. Don Beck. This graphic outlines the various values at play in South Africa at that time (see below).
Although the National Party (NP) has disappeared the new “kid on the block” COPE has to a large extent filled their values space following the NP’s dissolution. At the same time the DA has also moved strongly in the same space, though the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has lost significant ground to the ANC, particularly in KZN.
In considering why the various parties scored with the voters it is important to note that South Africa in line with Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) has one of the fullest spreads of values anywhere in the world. The term “Rainbow Nation”used by Nelson Mandela is confirmation of this. This is one of the reasons why the ANC has proved to be successful in many areas since the democratic elections in 1994. However, with the split in the ANC following their ousting of President Thabo Mbeki in 2008 it became clear that COPE, which was set up by former members of the ANC, had similar values but with a clear strategic bias towards the rapidly growing “black middle class” and business. This is the area of political opportunity in the future.
Values Profiles: A values profile of South Africa compared to the United States, the European Union and Sub-Saharan Africa is shown below:
Emerging countries such as South Africa and the BRIC grouping normally have a dual profile with the major part of the population peaking in Tribal Purple and Power Red with a smaller percentage falling into Blue Order andOrange Enterprise.
Note: The dual profile economies are most difficult to manage.
The Provincial Picture:The provincial picture is particularly interesting in terms of four major provinces: the Western Cape (including the Cape Town Metro), Gauteng (Johannesburg and Pretoria Metro’s), Kwa-Zulu Natal (Durban and Pietermaritzburg Metro’s) and the Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth and East London Metro areas).
The Western Cape: The DA received the majority of the votes in this Province (51.5%) to add to its existing control of the Cape Town Metro. The ANC was in second position with 31.6% and COPE in third place with 7.7%. The big loser here was the Independent Democrats of Patricia de Lille (4.7%) who lost ground to the other major parties. All other parties in this province recorded less than 2.0%.
Gauteng: This is the industrial and financial heart of South Africa and here the ANC with 64.8% and the DA with 21.3% were the leading parties. COPE also achieved a credible result with 7.8% of the vote. COPE Deputy President Mbhazima Shilowa was previously the Premier of the province before leaving the ANC to form COPE.
Kwa-Zulu Natal: The ANC with 64.1% were the big winners here pushing the IFP into second place with 20.6% of the vote. The IFP were previously the leading party in this province but have seen a slide in their electoral fortunes in all the elections since 1994. By not modernising and relying on its tribal support base it has now become a largely regional party. The DA obtained 10.4% and COPE 1.6%.
There is a view by some observers that the ANC did well in Kwa-Zulu Natal as Jacob Zuma is a Zulu. However, this view is perhaps superficial, as the ANC ran a significantly better campaign than the IFP, its major competitor in the province.
The Eastern Cape:This province is the heartland of the ANC with the majority of previous ANC leaders such as past presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki coming from this area. It is also one of the most neglected provinces in terms of development, particularly the previous homeland areas of the Transkei and Ciskei.
Here the ANC obtained 69.8% of the vote with COPE, which also has strong roots in this province being the official opposition at 13.3% of the vote. The DA followed in third place with 10.0% of the vote and the United Democratic Movement (UDM), a regional party 4.0%. All other parties registered less than 1.0% of the vote.
Other than in Kwa-Zulu Natal where the IFP are the Official Opposition all other provinces have either the DA or COPE as the official opposition. In each case where either party has not become the official opposition it is in third position. The other clear indication is that other than with one or two exceptions South Africa appears to be moving towards a situation where there are three major parties contesting elections, the ANC, COPE and the DA.
In this article we have only covered four of the nine provinces to provide a broad picture of what has been going on at the provincial level. In the largely rural provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga the ANC had majorities in excess of 85%.
The Broad South African Challenge: In considering political developments in South Africa over the next twenty or so years it is important that if the country is to continue to grow and prosper within the increasingly global economy then the values mix of the broad population should continue to move from Tribal Purple and Power Red to Blue Order and Orange Enterprise. This will require very different leadership styles from the politicians of the future than those that currently exist.
In addition, as shown in the graphic (left) developing countries need to move to the “Collective Values” with a solid Blue Order base before they are on the road to becoming a developed economy falling within the “Individual Values”codes. It is also interesting to note the movement of Europe on the graphic since the early 1800’s.
In bringing about a “Better Life for All” as articulated by the ANC it is important that the government provide practical improvements on the ground, particularly in the informal settlements as well as the rural areas. This will require competent officials at all levels of government in order to implement the required actions.
The above shift emphasises the urgent demands in terms of a world class education system particularly for the brightest and best students, a good standard of healthcare as well as a decent quality of life including better and more productive jobs and decent housing. In addition, it is essential that the ANC government provide a safe and secure environment for all its citizens in terms of reducing and controlling crime.
The key points above are all issues that ANC governments have been speaking about since 1994. Delivery has however, been patchy due to a number of key factors including adequate resource allocation at national, provincial and local level.
In order to provide a framework for meaningful progress across the country it will be necessary to consider using the appropriate values approach to handle the differing needs of the various communities. This can best be achieved through the use of the Beck, “Stratified Democracy”approach (see graphic below).
Profiles & Use of Stratified Democracy in Differing Societies
In political terms, this means that in the tribal areas where the chief is the major player there needs to be an appropriate governance system in place in order to ensure sustainable development without corruption ( Red Power). This would include local agricultural projects based on modern technology but with Purple Tribal values.
Equally, the civil service needs to be staffed by individuals who are competent to carry out their roles without fear or favour ( Blue Order).
Taking this to the local level municipalities also needs to be resourced and staffed correctly by people who can make a difference to the communities they serve. It will however, require existing inefficiencies and corruption to be rooted out at all levels of government. There needs to be “zero tolerance” for “bad behaviour.”
The Future:It is considered that South Africa as the largest African economy has a really good chance of leading the way in Africa as the values mix is more diverse than in any other country on the continent. Equally, it is an economic necessity that the new ANC government are able to continue to manage the transition from a developing to a developed state as rapidly and effectively as possible.
Demands for a continuing improvement in the quality of life for all the citizens of South Africa will ultimately define the success or failure of the ANC as it makes the transition from a liberation movement to modern political party. This is critical, as the history of many other liberation movements round the world indicates that the majority of these have failed to make the transition successfully. This will be particularly difficult in the short term with the current global financial crisis.
It is important to consider the loss of the 2/3 majority that the ANC had in the 2004 Election. This may indicate that the ANC’s support has now peaked in 2009 with possible further losses in coming elections ( see maps at Annexure A and B).
There are however, signs that South Africans across the broad political spectrum realise what is required to go forward. The loss of the Western Cape to the DA will focus the attention of the ANC in that province on better organisation and governance. At the same time the DA knows it has to deliver to retain its popularity with the electorate in the Western Cape. COPE has also done relatively well in the short time since its launch in December, 2008 and this will also provide a competitive push for the ANC. In addition, Patricia de Lille of the Independent Democrats (ID) has indicated that she is now looking at coalition politics in the Western Cape.
In terms of Stratified Democracy there is another way to look at this issue in terms of the values mix present in the different societies from developing to developed.
The graphic above by Dr. Don Beck demonstrates the move from underdeveloped state (3rd World), moving to developing economy (2nd World) and on to a modern developed state (1st World).
Following the 2009 Elections it is clear that the writing is on the wall for the smaller political players as to run an effective political organisation and election campaign requires extensive financial and other resources.
As an example of resources allocation, the ANC spent an estimated R200m ($20.0m) on their election campaign with the DA spending R50.0m ($5.0m) and COPE an estimated R20.0m ($2.00m) starting from a low base.
There is little doubt that as South Africa becomes as more developed and mature democracy that there will be a significant reduction in the number of political players on the national stage. This will also impact at the provincial level with a reduction in the number of parties also predicted. In terms of South Africa’s system of proportional representation the allocation of the 400 seats in the National Assembly for the major parties is as follows: ANC 264, DA 67, COPE 30 and the IFP 18. The Independent Democrats (ID), United Democratic Movement (UDM) and Freedom Front Plus (FF+) each received 4 seats. The balance of the remaining 9 seats went to the smaller parties.
The announcement of the appointment of the new National Cabinet over the past weekend gives a clear indication that the new government view service delivery to their key constituencies as a key issue.
President Zuma has retained highly regarded members of Cabinet such a Trevor Manual though he has been moved from Finance to head the new Planning Commission in the Office of the Presidency. However, there are a number of new faces who will need to show what they are capable of. However, if South Africa as a nation, wishes to become Africa’s first developed democracy and to remain the economic powerhouse of the continent, the performance of the new Government is of critical importance.
At the provincial level the ANC controls eight of the provinces. In these, with the exception of Kwa-Zulu Natal where the IFP is the opposition, the balance of the provinces either have the DA or COPE as the Official Opposition. In the Western Cape with the DA in control the ANC are the Official Opposition. This will prove an interesting test case for both the DA and ANC in terms of providing service delivery.
The appointment of the Provincial Premiers has recently been announced with some surprises. However, the process was based on each province putting forward its top three candidates with the final choice being made by the National Executive Committee of the ANC for those provinces where they have a majority. In the Western Cape, Helen Zille, the national leader of the DA, has been elected Premier.
Conclusions: As South Africa develops both as a democracy and as an economic power, the values sets of the political parties and electorate will inevitably move towards the more developed model found in the United States, European Union, Japan and other similarly developed countries (Blue Order and Orange Enterprise). However, due to the wide values mix present in South African society it is likely that the process will take some time before this occurs (see graphic on the global mix above). This will require our political leaders to remain critically aware of the multi-valued mix of our society. At this stage the ANC, DA and COPE are the organisations with the best understanding of how to manage this key dynamic.
Values have nothing at all to do with race, but focus on the shared values that extend over all the visible signs (similarities and differences) in our society. It is also likely that an African flavour also will be present in the model that emerges, as is the distinct case between Eastern economies such as China and Japan and the Western economies such as the United States, United Kingdom and EU. Equally, in the EU the new members tend to have a slightly different “values profile” from the more established European democracies such as the UK, France and Germany.
In the final analysis the ANC support was strongest in the rural areas as well as with the black working class in the urban areas. Both the DA and COPE obtained the bulk of their support in the urban areas from the middle class of all races. As the economy becomes more sophisticated so the electorate will demand more from their politicians. This process will over time lead to a more developed and mature representative democracy in the future.
The challenges are great, but as South Africa settles into the new administration at both the national and provincial levels it will be interesting to follow future alliances and strategies to move the country forward from both an economic and political perspective. Political power without a sound economy to pay for a better future will ultimately lead to failure for any political power elite in the country.
At the local level the municipal elections are due in 2011 and a number of very interesting scenarios are emerging as a result of the national picture. It is considered that coalition politics will play an important role in this area, with both COPE and the DA showing well in both the major metropolitan areas as well as the major municipalities and local councils. There is an emerging view that the ANC has in all probability peaked in terms of support and this will make space for parties that are able to capture the imagination and support of the changing values of the “masses” as they move on the values spiral.
Organised business also has a critical role to play as not only is it a major player in NEDLAC that comprises politicians, the Trades Unions and business, but it is also a major user of the services supplied at the various levels. During 2008 with the critical electrical power outages, business was a major player in resolving these national crises with Eskom. Business can also serve as a role model in terms of good governance that reinforces the values of Blue Order and Orange Enterprise.
At the international level South Africa’s membership of the G20 grouping will also assist in the process of moving values. As the global economy recovers there will also be opportunities to further engage the BRIC group of countries including South Africa in meaningful reform within their own direct spheres of influence.
The above is a process which will take place over a protracted period of time (and over many elections and administrations), but the key to progress is the support and implementation of values that continue South Africa’s forward momentum from a developing to a developed economy, which in turn will bring “A Better Life for All.”
Chairman: GVN Consulting Group
St Francis Bay. Eastern Cape. South Africa.
11 May, 2009
P. O. Box 557, St Francis Bay. Eastern Cape. South Africa
Tel/Fax: +27 42 294 1092 Mobile: +27 82 777 1519
Website: www.globalvaluesnetwork.com e-mail: email@example.com
Comparative ANC Support Maps – Eastern and Western Cape.
Annexure A. Eastern Cape ANC Comparative Support: Map 2004 – 2009
Annexure B. Western Cape ANC Comparative Support: Map 2004 – 2009