S Africa’s partial poll results show ANC falling under 50%; coalition Govt likely
   Date :01-Jun-2024

S Africa 
South Africa was heading closer to the reality of a national coalition Government for the first time on Friday as partial election results put the ruling African Nation Congress well short of a majority. With more than half of votes counted across the country’s nine provinces, the ANC had received just under 42% of the national vote, according to the early results as counting continued. That represented a huge drop from the 57.5% it received in the last national election in 2019, although the final results from Wednesday’s election have not yet been declared. The Commission that runs the election said those would be announced by Sunday, although they could come sooner. The count from more than 12,000 of the 23,000 polling stations raised the strong possibility that the ANC would need a coalition partner to form a Government and re-elect President Cyril Ramaphosa for a second and final term.
The frenzied negotiations were likely set to start behind closed doors. The ANC was still leading the count and had the most votes by some way, as expected, with the main Opposition Democratic Alliance on around 24%. The ANC is widely expected to still be the biggest party and to have the most seats in Parliament. The ANC has had a clear majority for all 30 years of South Africa’s democracy since the party swept to power in a 1994 election which officially ended the apartheid system of white minority rule, leading Nelson Mandela to become the country’s first Black President. It has been the dominant political force and its slipping below 50% would be a momentous change for Africa’s most advanced economy.
The ANC’s support has steadily declined from a high of nearly 70% of the vote 20 years ago as South Africa grapples with deep socio-economic problems, including widespread poverty and now one of the worst unemployment rates in the world at 32%. Poverty and unemployment disproportionately affect South Africa’s Black majority that make up 80% of the population and were the core of the ANC’s support over the years. While the inequalities of apartheid were always going to be hard to solve, the ANC has also been blamed for failures in basic Government services, numerous Government corruption scandals.