The prospect of early elections, mooted by some within the ANC, is highly unlikely, Times Select reported.
Sources told News24 that some ANC national executive committee (NEC) members want the party to push for early elections, and that this was debated at an NEC meeting at the weekend. Some of the party's leaders reportedly think the party stands a chance of winning more votes now because of the positive sentiment in the country following Cyril Ramaphosa's election as president, as well as perceptions that the opposition is floundering.
But the motion was shot down, ANC secretary general Ace Magashule said on Sunday. According to Bloomberg, Magashule said that while opposition parties had called for early elections, the ANC did not want this, and a date for the elections, scheduled for mid-2019, would be announced by Ramaphosa in May next year.
Three sources told Bloomberg that the issue was discussed at the NEC meeting, however. Times Select also reported that the issue was discussed at the meeting.
Adding impetus to the issue was the vote of confidence in the country by ratings agency Moody's, which upgraded the country's investment status from negative to "stable", Times Select reported.
But even if the ANC wanted to bring forward the elections, it could not do so alone, as the decision has to be made with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The IEC's Kate Bapela told Times Select that a lot of work would need to be done if the elections were brought forward, to ensure that the elections were "legally and technically sound".
This would include preparing the voters roll, recruiting about 220,000 people to work at polling stations, and conducting voter education across the country, Bapela reportedly said. The IEC also has to comply with a Constitutional Court ruling that names on its voters roll must be linked to addresses, and the IEC will be reporting to the court on the matter in June.