According to market and financial consulting firm Nomura, there’s very little indication – for the moment at least – that Zuma’s support within the ruling party has been weakened by the results of last week’s Local Government Elections.
“One should be cautious not to overplay the weakening of Jacob Zuma personally if he still has the NEC’s backing,” Nomura said, referring specifically to what it calls Zuma’s tenderpreneur faction, the NEC.
“In particular, just because president Zuma is weaker it does not mean the opposition within the ANC – which has been trying to remove him since Nene-gate – is any stronger in either policy or political terms. Ultimately the power plays within the ANC are about raw numbers, patronage and alliances.”
“Here, we think Mr Zuma’s faction still has the upper hand and the fact that it still holds the areas of largest support provincially, together with the positive (small) swing to the ANC in KZN, will ensure Jacob Zuma still has a blocking majority, against an early elective conference for instance, and gains power from these grouping,” the firm said.
Nomura’s analysts predict that the next two NEC meetings will determine just how much power el presidente still wields within the ailing ANC.
“So too will any push against the Gauteng provincial ANC leadership, which is likely to get blamed for some of the worst showings for the ANC nationally despite it largely being not their fault where local governance and service delivery has been better.”