Humanities Academics Comment in Media on Local Municipal ElectionsGeneral

UKZN academics (from left) Dr Lubna Nadvi, Dr Bheki Mngomezulu, Mr Zakhele Ndlovu, Mr Lukhona Mnguni, Mr Sakhile Hadebe and Mr Imraan Buccus.UKZN academics (from left) Dr Lubna Nadvi, Dr Bheki Mngomezulu, Mr Zakhele Ndlovu, Mr Lukhona Mnguni, Mr Sakhile Hadebe and Mr Imraan Buccus.

Six academics from the College of Humanities commented in the media on the South African municipal elections. 

The academics were Dr Lubna Nadvi, Dr Bheki Mngomezulu, Mr Zakhele Ndlovu, Mr Lukhona Mnguni, Dr Sakhile Hadebe and Mr Imraan Buccus. 

They gave their predictions ahead of election day, their analysis of political parties and the subsequent votes they would receive, and then on the results themselves and the impact they would have.

Buccus saw the elections as momentous ‘because electoral support shows significant changes across the country’. 

PhD intern at UKZN’s Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit, Mr Lukhona Mnguni, was the resident eNCA Political Analyst, discussing in-depth issues such as the internal struggles of the ANC, the extent of political party votes in KwaZulu-Natal, political killings, and the reasons behind why South African municipalities were failing and how to fix them. 

On his experience on eNCA, Mnguni said: ‘It was an exciting moment to occupy the front seat in these elections. From meeting well respected news anchors to working with them in packaging the content for analysis, it was a rare moment and privilege. 

‘Elections are important for any democracy and seeing the South African democracy mature and make history in this way was most humbling.’ 

Commenting on the role of social media during the elections, Ndlovu said he believed the traditional media still had an influential part to play, while Hadebe discussed the controversy that dogged Zuma ahead of the elections and how the President had tightened his grip on the ANC to gain traction. 

Among his comments, Buccus said: ‘The rejection of the ANC by significant sections of the electorate could prove to be a very positive development in so far as it means that we are moving towards a situation of “substantive uncertainty” with regard to elections. When a ruling party knows that it may lose a ward or a council it will not continue to treat voters with the contempt that has become a norm of political life in recent years.’ 

Overall, Nadvi described the elections as “a fluid and dynamic process”.

Melissa Mungroo