Research Briefing

South Africa: What the July unrest tells us about the 2024 Elections

What the July unrest tells us about the 2024 Elections

The year of 2021 was significant for South Africa. It was marked by the largest civil unrest since the end of Apartheid, and it was the first election in which the ruling ANC dropped below 50% support nationally. The long-term impact of these protests remains uncertain, but a glimpse into the future hints to more losses for the ANC in the 2024 General Election.

What you will learn:

  • The ANC’s support decreased by 8.3 ppts to 45.6% in 2021; however, this decline differs widely depending on each municipality’s exposure to violence during the July unrests.
  • In wards which had protests within the broader municipality, the ANC’s support declined by an average of 11.6 ppts, and in wards which directly experienced protests, this number rises to 13.9 ppts.
  • KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng were the provinces hardest hit by the July unrests, and were two of the ruling party’s worst performing provinces.

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