A strong win for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC in next
week’s election would trigger a rally in asset prices, according to Colin
Coleman, head of sub-Saharan Africa at Goldman Sachs Group.
“We need to get out of this election a strong mandate
for structural reforms,” Coleman said in an interview on Bloomberg
Television on Wednesday.
Support of 60% would give Ramaphosa the “political
space to implement his modernisation agenda, including trying to effectively
get the state-owned enterprises and a raft of economic reforms firmly in place.”
With South Africans scheduled to vote on May 8, opinion polls
are suggesting the ruling ANC will win enough votes to remain in power. The
margin of victory, however, is key to determining if Ramaphosa is able to
deliver on pledges to revive flagging economic growth, bring rampant corruption
under control and address a 27% unemployment rate.
Estimates of support for the ANC range from 51% to 61%, with
the opposition Democratic Alliance garnering between 19% and 24%, according to
surveys by polling firms and research institutes. Julius Malema’s Economic
Freedom Fighters, currently the third-largest party, is seeing support of 11% to
14%, the polls show.
Were the ANC to reach the 60% mark, “then the market
will be very bullish,” Coleman said. Anything below that level would limit
Ramaphosa’s ability to make the changes he wants, he said.
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