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South Africans Vote in Most Competitive Election Since Apartheid

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Mbeki edmond

May 30, 2024

Voters angry about high unemployment, crime, and power cuts.

South Africans voted on Wednesday in the most competitive election since apartheid ended, with high turnout

suggesting the African National Congress (ANC) may lose its parliamentary majority after 30 years in power.

Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo noted the turnout "will be well beyond the 66% we had in 2019." Many polling stations remained open past the official closing time due to long lines, with only 55% of stations closed two hours after the deadline.


Voters expressed dissatisfaction with high unemployment, frequent power outages, and corruption within the ANC, leading many to support opposition parties.

Business owner Skhumbuzo Mnyandu, 48, who had long supported the ANC, voted for the new uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, backed by former president Jacob Zuma. Conversely, pensioner Charles Louw, 62, remained loyal to the ANC, citing distrust in opposition promises.


Since 1994, the ANC has won every national election, but its vote share has declined. If the ANC fails to secure 50% of the vote, it will need to form a coalition government.


Young voters, disillusioned with economic prospects, showed particular frustration. Nosipho Mkhize, 28, criticized the lack of job opportunities for the youth, despite having degrees.


President Cyril Ramaphosa, likely to stay in office, remains hopeful for an ANC majority. Meanwhile, opposition leaders like John Steenhuisen of the Democratic Alliance and Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) emphasized the election's significance.

Over 27 million South Africans registered to vote at 23,000 polling stations. Initial results are expected soon, with final results within three to four days.

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