The African National Congress: There Is No Party Like It; Ayikho Efana Nayo

  • Tom Lodge


Four features characterized the African National Congress (ANC) election campaigns in 1994 and 1999. First, campaign strategists relied heavily on modern market research techniques, including public opinion surveys and focus group discussions, both to identify loyalists and potential supporters and to select the messages the party would project in its electioneering.Second, despite the importance planners accorded to communicating with the electorate through the media, the ANC also exploited its large and well-organized following through deploying thousands of volunteers in door-to-door canvassing. The combination of advanced electioneering techniques borrowed from American experience and old-fashioned mass party membership mobilization distinguished the ANC from its competitors and made its approach fairly unusual in a more general contemporary context. Third, the content of the ANC campaigns in 1994 and thereafter tended to be upbeat and positive; on the whole, at least with respect to most of its officially sanctioned appeals, the ANC refrained from direct attacks on its rivals, concentrating instead on the issues that would be of most concern to its core constituency. In general, the party’s campaigning sought to animate its followers by appealing to their hopes, expectations, and optimism about the future rather than fears or resentments arising from conflicts of the past.


Candidate List African National Congress Voter Registration Sunday Time Human Science Research Council 
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© Jessica Piombo and Lia Nijzink 2005

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  • Tom Lodge

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