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South Africa Election could Mark the End of ANC Dominance

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louis Buyisiwe

Jun 1, 2024

This dramatic decline means the ANC must now form a coalition to retain power

The Electoral Commission of South Africa, in Midrand, South Africa, May 31, 2024

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), had 21.71% and uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), a new party led by former president Jacob Zuma, managed to grab 14.76%. The ANC has won every previous national election by a landslide since the historic 1994 vote that ended white minority rule, but over the last decade its support has dwindled as the economy stagnated, unemployment rose and roads and power stations crumbled.
The Electoral Commission of South Africa, in Midrand, South Africa, May 31, 2024

South Africa is poised to end three decades of African National Congress (ANC) dominance, as voters express dissatisfaction with unemployment, inequality, and power shortages. The ANC's share of the vote has dropped to 40%, down from 57.5% in the 2019 parliamentary election.


With 98% of polling stations reporting, the ANC has secured 40.15% of the vote. The main opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has 21.71%, while the newly formed uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), led by former President Jacob Zuma, holds 14.76%.


This dramatic decline means the ANC must now form a coalition to retain power, an unprecedented situation for the party that ended apartheid in 1994. MK’s strong performance, particularly in Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal, is a significant factor in the ANC's failure to secure a majority.


The allocation of parliamentary seats, which will determine the presidency, is uncertain. President Cyril Ramaphosa remains a potential leader, with the ANC likely to receive about twice as many votes as the next party. However, his position is weakened, and he may face calls to step down from both opposition parties and internal critics.


Despite this, a top ANC official expressed support for Ramaphosa's continued leadership on Friday. Analysts suggest there is no clear successor. A coalition deal might see the ANC retain the presidency in exchange for opposition control over certain cabinet posts or parliamentary roles.


The election commission plans to announce the final results on Sunday. Investors in Africa’s most industrialized economy are eager for a swift resolution to the political uncertainty.



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