May 2019

The May edition - ‘The Sleeping Giant: 2019 Post-Election Analysis’ - analyses of some of the key trends and patterns of the national and provincial elections held on 8 May 2019.

Two key takeaways come to the fore. The first is the decline of the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA), and the rise of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus). The second is the depth and breadth of voter apathy and the effect it has had both on turnout (a record low 65.99%) and the legitimacy of the ANC’s majority.

Both the ANC and the DA suffered losses to those parties that stand at their ideological extremes: the ANC to the radical, populist and socialist impulses that define the EFF, the DA to the conservative, Christian values that define the FF Plus.

There is a silent majority out there, which is significant and is growing - the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) registers fewer and fewer voters each year and political parties are stretched to the limit. The legitimacy not just of the ANC’s vote hangs in the balance, but also of South Africa’s electoral system.

The Fast Stats pages, with financial and other statistics, are included.

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April 2019

The April edition - ‘Elections Preview’ - looks into past general elections as well as the upcoming general election scheduled for 8th May.

CRA polling suggests that African National Congress (ANC) representation in Parliament will drop substantially below the 60% mark for the first time, while the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are likely to see an increase in representation from 6% to +/-11%. The Democratic Alliance (DA) appears to have plateaued at +/-24%.

CRA data also projects a drop for the ANC from 55% to 42% of votes cast on the provincial ballot in Gauteng, with the DA flatlining at 32%. The least racially diverse party, the EFF, looks set to climb from 11% to around 18%, which would make Gauteng the EFF’s strongest province.

Key risks: Voter apathy decreases the legitimacy of the Government, and the Rule of Law; populism rises in an attempt to appease the disaffected; Gauteng coalition politics are unstable; internal party structures remain unchanged despite popular disillusionment.

The Fast Stats pages, with financial and other statistics, are included.

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March 2019

The March edition - ‘The dying of the light’ - looks at the crisis at South Africa’s energy utility, Eskom.


  • Eskom, with a workforce of 48 628 in 2017/18, employs 13 000 more staff than it did a decade ago, but sells less electricity.
  • There is a widening gap between demand for electricity and electricity sales. A decline in sales compels Eskom to increase tariffs to recover its fixed operational and maintenance expenses. This in turn incentivises consumers to move off-grid, further eroding the customer base.
  • The alternative to tariff increases is a bailout from government, which already guarantees R350 billion of Eskom’s now over R400 billion debt.
  • Renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro and wind power have produced a negligible amount of electricity.
  • Bold policy reform is needed, such as reducing the wage bill, appointing staff on merit, and giving greater autonomy to the Eskom board.

The Fast Stats pages, with financial and other statistics, are included.

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February 2019

This edition, ‘Please, Sir, may I have some more?’, examines the 2019/20 Budget, warning that key risks emerging from the data include low levels of economic participation and job creation, unfavourable global circumstances and government policy that actively inhibits rather than facilitates growth.

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January 2019

This edition, No sign of fiscal squeeze letting up, tracks tax and revenue indicators for South Africa, showing among other things that expenditure to GDP has reached a record all-time high and is forecast to increase further.

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