COSATU is part of the longstanding tripartite alliance with the ruling ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP). Relations between Zuma and COSATU are irreparably damaged: the union has endorsed South Africa's deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to succeed Zuma as ANC head at December's national conference.
- Whoever wins the ANC presidency will struggle to end party divisions, although Ramaphosa looks best placed to do so.
- The United Democratic Movement and Inkatha Freedom Party could make electoral gains in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, respectively.
- The ANC's control of economically vital Gauteng province could be in jeopardy in 2019.