Iconography of persuasion: An analysis of political manifestos and messaging of top three parties in South Africa’s 2019 elections

Shepherd Mpofu, Trust Matsilele, Tawanda Nyawasha

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Abstract

South Africa’s 2019 elections, like others before, will be remembered for the historical significance around the ANC ruling party’s sharp decline in polls, the surging and re-emergence of the ideologically extreme parties, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Freedom Front Plus (VF+). This election, for the first time since the rebranding of the main opposition, the Democratic Alliance, saw that party losing its momentum, culminating in the eventual resignation of the party’s first black leader, Mmusi Maimane. This study examines how the three dominant parties in South Africa contest with each other in the race to attract potential voters through poster advertising and campaigns. Going into the 2019 election, the three dominant political parties were – the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Specifically, the paper examines messages on the posters, the parties’ manifestos and speeches at different rallies before the elections. Drawing on our analysis, we make a claim in this paper that the 2019 election in South Africa for the ANC, DA and EFF was largely about “unresolved questions”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-88
Number of pages22
JournalCommunicare: Journal for Communication Studies in Africa
Volume40
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 5 Oct 2022

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