Fri. Oct 18th, 2019

ANC vs DA vs EFF: How much support each party has from overseas

ANC DA EFF overseasThe three major parties of South Africa all have their own representation from overseas. But just how well are the ANC, DA and EFF supported abroad?

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Make no mistake, the role of our overseas voters is going to be more crucial now than at any point in our 25 years of democracy. The 2019 Elections are set to be the tightest of the bunch and a few thousand votes either way could decide the balance of power in several key battlegrounds across South Africa for the ANC, DA and EFF.

The IEC has confirmed that 30 532 voters applied for the right to participate in the 2019 Elections from 121 South African consulates across the world this year. A total of 29 334 were approved, which is a record-high number. More and more expats will be able to have their say, but just how important is that international influence?

We’ve been looking at how our three main political parties are represented across the globe. There are some very interesting dynamics at play, and although not all of these branches are eligible to vote in the elections, they are certainly doing a bang-up job of spreading their messages.

ANC vs DA vs EFF – where does their overseas support come from?

African National Congress (ANC)

As the ruling party, the strongest sign of an ANC presence abroad comes from their foreign missions. There are a total of 75 cities across the world which have the South African government’s representation and are contactable online.

But, comparatively speaking, their network abroad isn’t particularly forthcoming. They have a particularly strong presence in the UK, with a branch operating in London and a number of expats retaining their support, but the ANC could take a leaf out of their rivals’ books.

Democratic Alliance (DA)

The official opposition boasts a total of 35 networks abroad which represent the DA in terms of both their expat support and that from foreign nationals. They have an official branch in every continent, apart from South America and the frozen tundra of Antarctica.

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Don’t worry, no-one’s floating in the sea. The map just couldn’t fit the DA emblem into the small borders of Guinea – Photo: DA Abroad

They have the strongest presence of all three in Europe, and also dominate the North American market. When looking at the official figures for registered overseas voters this year, that could work in their favour.

Region Total overseas voters
Africa 2 868
Asia 7 147
Europe 14 838
North America 2 196
Oceania 2 133
South America 125
Total 29 334

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)

Now, in something of a departure from what we’ve already seen, the EFF’s support doesn’t necessarily translate to people voting for them from abroad. Instead, they’ve been buoyed by the creation of other “Economic Freedom Fighter” parties in several African countries.

Botswana, Zimbabwe, Liberia and Namibia all have an active EFF presence, but also host groups with political ambitions inside their own borders. The most established of these wings lies in Namibia.

They are the most senior foreign chapter of the EFF and have arguably endured the most tumultuous time. Their archaic opposition to homosexuality is a massive diversion from what the red berets endorse in SA, and divisions between party members lead to some high-profile resignations from our Western neighbours.

They have previously contested elections in the country but didn’t fare too well. They reeled in just 1 131 votes during the national polls, which amounted to a 0.1% share of the electorate.

In their own way, each party has got its own, unique identity overseas: The ANC dominate legislative and executive organisations, the DA have the most extensive networks of support and expat voters and the EFF have several political movements moulded in their image.

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