by Evans Manyonga

Editor's Note

A new dawn?

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Twenty-five years of democracy is respectable because it is a sign of progress. Tackling corruption and mismanagement is a step in the right direction. Having a generally peaceful election in Africa is a feat not many countries have been able to achieve. A cabinet with 50% women is not only uncommon but deserving of applause and trimming ministries and combining some ministries saves the nation much-needed money.

So, what can we make of all of this? Perhaps, just perhaps, we have entered a new dawn, a new era. The era where merit trumps quotas, where youth and the zeal to serve and succeed trumps alliances, appeasement and entitlement. Where opposition leaders congratulate an election winner and acknowledge positivity. An era where other political parties are heard loud and clear and encouraged to voice their opinions as that is the hallmark of democracy.

The final results of the 2019 national elections reflected the mood of the population. The ANC secured a solid majority vote for another term, securing 57.5% of the vote, the DA came a distant second securing 20.8% and the EFF contesting in only its second-ever election had 10.8% of the vote.

Key learnings? The ANC’s result represented their worst-ever performance at the polls post-1994. This had been hugely predicted, though it’s important to note that low voter turnout was cited as the potentially biggest hindrance to the party getting a bigger percentage of the vote. The DA was predicted to lose more support than they did. The suggestion is analysts were off the mark as they still managed to stay above the 20% mark. It was predicted the EFF would gain a bigger victory than they managed. However, it’s important to note that this was just their second national election and their rate of growth points to the balance of power shifting.

The poll outcomes point to a vibrant democracy. A democracy that is heading in the right direction. The future is unknown; however, the hallmark of a functional state is different voices with a common goal and, in this case, the betterment of society. So maybe, just maybe, this is the dawn of a new era.

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