Our work at the Rivonia Circle, through surveys and multiple forms of convening is pointing to the possibility of a new political future in South Africa where there will be no party that will obtain over 50% of the vote. This will lead to a coalition government at national level, for the first time since 1994. People have expressed to us a deep desire for people-centred and more community rooted politics.

A recent survey of 2000 registered South African voters by the Rivonia Circle indicate that if an election were held today, the ANC’s share of the vote would drop to 41% from the 57.5% it obtained in 2019 national election. The survey conducted with Ipsos, shows that the DA’s share of the vote would continue to decline to 18% while the EFF would increase to 15%. Likely voter turnout is currently at around 65%.



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With a sample size of 2000 registered voters, nationally representative of age, gender, race and province, the poll yielded a margin error of 2.2% at the 95% confidence interval.

Almost three quarters (74%) of South Africans believe that the country is moving in the wrong direction with the majority of voters citing unemployment as the biggest issue facing the country. Corruption, crime, loadshedding and cost of living follow unemployment as the major issues South Africans want confronted.

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The findings, particularly those concerning the popularity of the ANC, indicate that the majority of voters are no longer attracted to the ANC and are ready for life beyond its tenure. However, the results also show that they are struggling to find an alternative that resonates with them. It is, however, important to recognise that change does not happen by itself; you have to make it happen. That was a point underscored by Nsé Ufot, Chief Executive of the US-based New Georgia Project, who gave the keynote speech at the Mobilising People’s Power workshop hosted by the Rivonia Circle. “We are fundamentally vulnerable when we do not have robust participation in our democracy”, she said. “You get what you organise for”.

Inspired by the New Georgia Project’s success, the Rivonia Circle aims to mobilise an army of grass-roots activists to help 500,000 people obtain an ID, and a further 500,000 register to vote by 2024. In conjunction with fundamental reforms of the electoral system, based on the principle of direct accountability, the Rivonia Circle can help South Africans effect real change guided by a ‘People’s Manifesto’.

Voter turnout is critical to a transformative political outcome in 2024, which requires massive voter registration, correcting existing registration and driving participation on election day.

“You need to be deliberate and intentional”, Ufot highlights. “You build by doing it”. If South Africans want a different future, we need to rise, mobilise and start doing it.”

This new political culture is a challenge to all existing political parties to rethink their way of doing things and adopt a politics that listens more and preaches less to voters. Majority of the voters are not members of any political party. For this reason, there is often nowhere for them to go for political conversations about South Africa and yet, they are yearning for such platforms.

This is why most events of the Rivonia Circle are oversubscribed as they provide this non-partisan platform for political engagement with South Africans.