Zuma’s MK Party to lead in KZN, says pre-election poll

Pre-election poll predicts that former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe Party will lead in KZN after the elections. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Pre-election poll predicts that former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe Party will lead in KZN after the elections. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Published May 24, 2024


Durban — As the race ahead of the high-stakes elections hit the home stretch, a pre-election poll placed the Jacob Zuma-backed uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) as a leading player in KwaZulu-Natal.

The poll by Mark Data, commissioned by eNCA predicts a whopping 46.4% for MKP in the hotly-contested coastal province, where 5.7 million people have registered to vote, the second largest number after Gauteng with 6.5 million registered voters.

The MKP, the new kid on the block, formed in September last year and officially endorsed by former president Zuma in December, will be contesting elections for the first time at next week’s May 29 elections.

As the ANC fought to retain the province, the poll placed the ruling party in fourth place with 11.1% of votes, a downslide from the 54% the party garnered in the general election in 2019.

The ANC has held a tight grip on the province since snatching it from the IFP in 2004.

The ANC is the majority party with 44 seats in the 80-member provincial legislature.

But the odds appear to be stacked against the ANC, especially after Zuma ditched the ruling party in favour of the MKP.

Despite launching a massive charm offensive in a bid to win back the province, the IFP is pre-polled at 14.5%, a decrease from 16.3% the party managed in 2019.

This translated to 13 seats for the official opposition in the province.

The DA, which mustered 13.9% in KZN in the previous national elections, polled at 12.2%.

This means the party would see a decrease in the 11 seats it amassed in 2019 if the poll is anything to go by.

Julius Malema's EFF would rake in 6.7% votes, a dip from the 9.7% the red party scored in the previous election.

The EFF has eight seats in the provincial legislature.

Nationally, the poll paints a bleak outcome for the ruling ANC at 43.4%, a dramatic slide from the 57.5% the party led by Cyril Ramaphosa got in 2019, resulting in 230 seats in the 400-seater National Assembly.

If the ANC dropped below 50%, as widely predicted, the 112-year-old party will, for the first time since the democratic breakthrough in 1994, be forced to co-govern the country.

Nationally, the DA, according to the poll, will get 18.6% (20%), MKP 14.4%, EFF 11.4% (10.8) and the IFP 3.1% (3.3).

Explaining the criteria followed during the poll, broadcaster eNCA said it interviewed people in 3 046 households.

These households represent the country's demographic balance.

The poll stretched from urban areas to deep rural areas, eNCA said.

Political pundits are predicting that KwaZulu-Natal, which boasts a budget of R150 billion, will be hung with no party gaining an outright majority.

Political analyst, Professor Bheki Mngomezulu, weighed in on the pre-election poll, despite stressing that he did not “generally pay attention to pre-poll results”.

“But they (pre-polls) do paint a reality on the ground. I do think that the competition in KZN will be between the MK party and the IFP. The ANC will likely come third,” said Mngomezulu.

Political analyst Thobani Zikalala had a contrasting view.

“I think it's an exaggeration that the MK Party would garner such an amount of votes. I still do think that the contestation is between the ANC and the IFP in KZN with the MK Party taking positions that had been previously occupied by the DA and small parties.”

Zikalala said he did not see the MKP getting anything more than 20% nationally, and between 10% to 15% in KZN.

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