The 2009 South African elections: Implications for the provinces
Heydenrych, Pieter Willem
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The 2009 South African elections were somewhat different in terms of the positioning of the ruling party and the nature of the opposition. Against this background the meaning and implications (democratic meaningfulness) of the elections in the provincial context are considered. Firstly the outcome of the elections is placed in the context of the continuing uncertainty of the provincial sphere of government as part of the structure of the state and secondly the elections results are interpreted in terms of what is labelled parties of significance. The article demonstrates that from a historical perspective the importance of government has opened up the debate on the future of the provinces. Even the limited substantial choice of political parties resulting in ANC dominance has contributed to the questioning of the importance of provinces, apart from institutional meaning or effectiveness. The 2009 election results however could be indicative of a shift towards a wider ideological choice with a reasonable expectation of government control. The potential developments based on the election results could thus through the widening of choice, reinvigorate the provincial sphere of government with the added caveat: if it were in time to reverse the centralisation of the South African state order.
- Faculty of Arts@PUK