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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mandela's Lost Province: The African National Congress and the Western Cape Electorate in the 1994 South African Elections
Authors:Eldridge, Matt
Seekings, JeremyISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
African National Congress (South Africa)
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637155
Abstract:The first democratic elections in South Africa, in April 1994, resulted in a victory for the ANC. In two major provinces, however, the ANC was defeated. In the Western Cape the ANC lost to the National Party (NP), and in KwaZulu/Natal it lost to the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). Most interpretations of the elections assert the preeminence of race and ethnicity. This article, which analyses the ANC and the elections in the Western Cape, suggests that such interpretations underestimate firstly the significance of the parties' election strategies and campaigns, at least in this province, and secondly (and more broadly) the complexity and variety of voters' decisionmaking. Political struggles within the ANC led it to adopt an election strategy which prioritized the large number of undecided coloured voters in the province (50 percent of the coloured population in mid-1993), but in ways that limited the party's appeal to these target voters. Undecided coloured voters, mainly working class, saw the ANC as bearing responsibility for political violence and worried that it would not provide jobs for coloured people. The NP's election victory turned on its success in framing the election in terms of these issues. App. notes, ref., sum.