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South Africa: ANC likely to lose ground in local polls 0

South Africans ruling African national Congress (ANC) may drop to 59 percent in local elections from 66 percent in the last such vote in 2006 a survey suggests.

The 2011 municipal elections scheduled for Wednesday 18th May, are held every five years and 121 political parties are in contention for the different seats.

In this year’s polls the ANC is expected to storm to victory given its dominance over politics but any gains by the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) could embarrass President Jacob Zuma ahead of the ANC’s main policy-setting meeting next year.

According to an opinion poll conducted by IPSOS an independent international think-tank the ANC is likely to lose ground in a number of districts.

“The African National Congress remains the strongest political party in the country, although their support seems to have decreased since the 2009 general election,” the polling group IPSOS said in a statement.

The IPSOS survey of 2 000 people put the main opposition DA as runners up with 19%, followed by the Inkatha Freedom Party with 2%. The bulk of the remainder are undecided.

The biggest issue at in this year’s election is the quality of governance, with the ANC facing violent protests in recent years from its traditional base of poor blacks who feel the party has not done enough to provide them with running water, sanitation, schools and healthcare.

Meanwhile the DA website has paid vividly as a campaign tool. This is according to an in-depth analysis of the internet strategy of the main political parties which was done by World Wide Worx.

“The DA site stands apart from the rest in usability, substance of content and use of social media,” says Steven Ambrose, managing director of Strategy Worx, which conducts the Webagility analyses on behalf of World Wide Worx.

“However, their overall rating has dropped slightly from 2009, suggesting they have not yet fully integrated the innovations that have emerged since then in Web design. While they are more active than ever before in social media, they haven’t quite kept pace with the rapid evolution of this arena.” explains Ambrose.

He also said while the ANC improved its online presence significantly, it still comes a distant second. With the Congress of the People now lagging far behind both front-runners.

Social media and online communication has taken the continent by storm in the recent past as it has been used in elections, sharing of news on social issues and during the on going North Africa unrest.

Former President Nelson Mandela voted on Monday, two days early like others unable to reach a polling station.

Mandela, 92 who has not appeared at a public engagement since the closing ceremony of the football World Cup in July 2010 was accompanied by his wife, daughter and granddaughter.

By Staff writer – Afronline

In the picture: Hellen Zille, leader of DA

Sources: BBC Africa, All Africa, Reuters Africa, The Sowetan, The Mediaonline

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