Tags: Opposition | Black | Leader | Maimane

Opposition Elects First Black Leader

By Monday, 11 May 2015 02:09 PM Current | Bio | Archive

South Africa’s official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has made history by electing its first black leader, Mmusi Maimane.

Since May 2014 Mmusi has been has been in the limelight as parliamentary leader of the DA. He has shown himself to be relentless on the campaign trail, in particular during his “Believe” campaign where he visited over 350 locations in a nine-month period.

Mmusi will keep his position as parliamentary leader alongside his new role as federal leader of the DA. The DA has struggled to get the upper hand against the African National Congress in past elections mainly due to the majority being loyal to Nelson Mandela’s legacy in defeating apartheid as leader of the ANC in 1994.

Twenty-one years later Mandela’s successors have failed to build on his unified ideologies and are losing support at every election.

As outgoing leader of the DA Hellen Zille puts it, “The ANC has nothing left to offer except distant-struggle credentials and empty-race rhetoric.”

With this new revelation of a young black leader to the opposition, the political landscape come the 2019 general election will be quite different.

80 percent of South Africa’s population is black and will find it easier to place its trust in the new black leader as an alternative to the ANC. Another significant demographic come 2019 will be the younger generation, specifically new voters who have become frustrated by the scandalous and corrupt nature of the current leadership.

The new generation is more globally aware than ever and will give preference to a leader that is in tune with the global economic and political environment. Support for traditional leadership synonymous with the ANC is dwindling. This following the 2015 FDI Confidence Index which shows South Africa falling out of favor as an FDI destination, which is a critical driver of economic growth.

Mmusi has been inclusive in his campaign efforts thus far, pushing a market-driven economy coupled with improved education and job creation. However, he will be tested on his ability to perform the balancing act of rolling out effective land restitution to the previously displaced while delivering on his promise of a society where the color of your skin truly does not matter.

Foreign investors will be naturally cautious should Mmusi and the DA gain majority support in 2019 as is always the case when political power changes hands. A specific area of interest for investors will be Mmusi’s promise to break the state's monopoly over energy production for the country. This will allow for greater participation by the private sector in this lucrative industry.

Matthew Klynsmith earned a business administration diploma at CTI in Cape Town, South Africa. He now works at Strategic Options as an associate partner. To read more reports from Matthew Klynsmith, Go Here Now.

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South Africa’s official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has made history by electing its first black leader, Mmusi Maimane.
Opposition, Black, Leader, Maimane
Monday, 11 May 2015 02:09 PM
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