Muted celebration as ANC wins South Africa’s election with 57.51%, worst performance since 1994
London, May 11, 2019 (AltAfrica)-The final tally of the South African election is out, with the ruling African National Congress (ANC), winning 57.51% of votes cast.
The website of the Electoral Commission, which showed 100 per cent capturing of the 17 668 318 votes cast, showed that the ANC polled 10 026 047 votes, which is less than the 11 million votes won in 2014.
Analysts said the electoral performance was the worst since the party came to power in 1994, with legendary Nelson Mandela as president.
The biggest opposition Democratic Alliance got 3,618,992, representing 20.76% of the votes, also lower than the 22.2 per cent or the 4 million votes won in 2014.
ANC rebel, Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Party came third with 1,881,331 votes, representing 10.79 per cent of the votes cast. In 2014, EFF got 6.35 percent of the votes.
With 26,779, 025 people registered to vote, turnout was estimated at 65.99 per cent.
According to the electoral body, 235,449 votes were voided in the 22,924 of the voting districts captured, out 22,925.
Ramaphosa’s image as a leader willing to rid the government of graft helped the ANC’s showing in this election, political analyst Karima Brown said. “It’s a departure from a president who faced continuous allegations of corruption,” she said.
But ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, seen as leading the party faction opposed to Ramaphosa, has said the victory could not be attributed to the president alone.
Widespread disillusionment over the ANC and long-standing issues of high unemployment and poor delivery of basic services had been expected to give top opposition parties a boost in Wednesday’s election.
Top opposition party the liberal Democratic Alliance slipped in its share of votes, however, winning 20.7%, down from 22.2% in 2014. The populist Economic Freedom Fighters in just their second showing in parliamentary and presidential elections did gain ground, winning 10.7% of the vote, up from 6.3% five years ago.
The EFF won support notably among younger voters with its outspoken demands for a bigger share of South Africa’s wealth from the country’s white minority. It struck a chord in a country where unemployment is 27% and many in the black majority struggle to get by. The party also had promised to expropriate white-owned land without compensation and nationalize mines and banks.
The ANC barely retained control of the country’s economic hub of Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria, with just over 50% of the vote.
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the party was now focused on constituting a credible government. “The task now is to roll up our sleeves and to sort these problems out,” she said.
In South Africa, the president and parliament are not elected directly. The number of votes won by each party determines how many representatives are sent to the national 400-seat legislature. The president of the country is the leader of the party that gets the most votes.
“I knew that the ANC would win the elections so my vote for them did not go waste,” said Karabo Kgole, a gas station attendant in Pretoria. Agency report