South Africa: the biggest electoral blow to the ANC

#other countries The ANC, the party that came to power in South Africa since the end of apartheid, was on the verge of suffering the worst electoral blow in its history, falling below the 50% mark for the first time in municipal elections on Thursday.

According to the Election Commission, with 99% of the results recorded in the afternoon, the African National Congress received no more than 46% of the vote.

The final results were to be officially announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa at 6:00 PM (4:00 PM GMT). Counting of votes began on Monday evening, when polling stations were closed.

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Nelson Mandela’s historic party, which has won all elections with an absolute majority for 27 years, is expected to record its worst score since the first democratic elections in 1994.

Durban’s own stronghold in KwaZulu-Natal has already yielded: the ANC has only reached 42% of the vote for the entire group.

“We are not finished politically”, although the person in charge of the party’s election to the press and the transport minister, Fikile Mabalula, was reported a day earlier. The “worst”, according to him, was avoided by the passage of votes to the opposition.

The ANC’s main rival, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has so far less than 22% of the vote, lower than its score in the last local elections in 2016 (26.9%).

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During the campaign, President Ramaphosa, also the party’s boss, went door-to-door to gather votes for this test ballot ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

But the turnout was low. Of the 26.2 million registered voters, only 47% voted to elect representatives of some 250 municipalities.

Over the years, the Liberation Party has faced the disillusionment of a population facing record unemployment (34.4%) and the hatred of several corruption scandals involving senior party officials, including former President Jacob Zuma (2009–2018).

Years of mismanagement and widespread corruption have also disrupted public services in South Africa, where daily life is plagued by power and water cuts.

In July, the country saw a wave of riots and looting in Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal (East) province, killing more than 350 people.

In 2016, the ANC won 54% of the vote and lost major cities including Pretoria and the economic capital Johannesburg.

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