Latest: South Africas ruling ANC party expected to lose majority after vote
NBS Webdesk

A woman casts her ballot at a polling station, during general elections in Eshowe, South Africa, Wednesday May 29, 2024. (Photo by AP)

Preliminary results and projections indicate that South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) is set to lose its majority of 30 years.

Officials reported on Thursday that with 20% of the votes tallied, the ANC was leading with 44%, down from the 57% it received in 2019. The liberal Democratic Alliance (DA) was closely behind at 25%.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a leftist party, secured the third position with 9% of the vote, while uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), led by former South African president Jacob Zuma, followed closely behind with 8%.

“The broad church of the ANC has taken a substantial knock. This is a shock to the system for the ANC and ultimately will also be a shock to the system for the average South African, who has only known ANC rule since 1994,” political analyst Daniel Silke told AFP.

“It redraws the political boundaries of South Africa and creates a degree of uncertainty”.

In the event that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s party is verified to fall below the 50 percent mark, he would be compelled to pursue coalition partners in order to secure re-election and establish a fresh government. 

The party is still highly regarded for its pivotal role in ending white minority rule, and its forward-thinking social welfare and black economic empowerment initiatives are acknowledged by its followers for lifting millions of black families out of poverty.

Even if the ANC comes close to securing 50 percent of the votes, it seems improbable that it will be able to form alliances with smaller and regional parties to attain a majority.

According to prediction by Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the ANC was projected to receive less than 42 percent of the vote, potentially requiring them to collaborate with a larger rival.

Nevertheless, experts held differing views on which party the ANC would align with and whether this underwhelming performance could jeopardize Ramaphosa’s leadership position.

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