The 2004 South African election culminated in a turnover of power in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The province, formerly governed by the IFP, was won by the ANC. Various theories have been put forward to explain the IFP’s loss and the ANC’s consequent victory in KwaZulu-Natal. The IFP believes its loss has to do with the ANC’s determination to win the province while the ANC puts its victory down to having been able to permeate IFP strongholds and increase its percentage of the vote in rural KwaZulu-Natal. Other factors, too, may well have contributed to the turnover of power in the province. These include the IFP’s inability to shed its Zulu nationalist image, decreased levels of violence, and higher standards of election monitoring. While the ANC’s eventual control of all the provinces is viewed in some circles as a sign of a party-dominant democracy, the peaceful turnover of power (albeit at a provincial level) may be interpreted as a positive step towards democratic consolidation in South Africa.
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Categories: Journal of African Elections