Saturday 25 May 2019

South Africa elections: ANC coasting to victory despite worst electoral performance in party's history

  • ANC in strong lead with 57.5pc of the vote
  • Results in from 99.9pc of voting districts
  • DA, EFF on 20.79pc and 10.78pc respectively
A man walks past election billboards of President Cyril Ramaphosa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) party in Soweto township near Johannesburg, South Africa, May 11, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A man walks past election billboards of President Cyril Ramaphosa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) party in Soweto township near Johannesburg, South Africa, May 11, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A supporter of President Cyril Ramaphosa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) puts up posters as she awaits election results in Diepkloof township in Johannesburg, South Africa, May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A supporter of President Cyril Ramaphosa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) walks past a house adorned with posters as she awaits election results in Diepkloof township in Johannesburg, South Africa, May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A supporter of President Cyril Ramaphosa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) sits beside a party poster as he awaits election results in Diepkloof township in Johannesburg, South Africa, May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Onke Ngcuka

The African National Congress was set to easily win South Africa's election on Saturday but with a lower vote share reflecting anger at corruption scandals and racial inequalities that remain entrenched a generation after the party took power.

With 99.9 percent of voting districts counted following Wednesday's election, the ANC led with 57.5pc of the vote. The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) was on 20.79pc and the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had 10.78pc

A man walks past election billboards of President Cyril Ramaphosa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) party in Soweto township near Johannesburg, South Africa, May 11, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A man walks past election billboards of President Cyril Ramaphosa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) party in Soweto township near Johannesburg, South Africa, May 11, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

It would be the worst electoral performance by the late Nelson Mandela's former liberation movement, which has governed South Africa uninterrupted since the country's first free election marked the end of white minority rule in 1994.

The ANC's victory will secure it enough seats in parliament to give President Cyril Ramaphosa another five years in office but may leave him short of ammunition to battle party rivals who oppose his reforms to galvanise the economy and counter graft.

The ANC had not previously won less than 60pc of the vote in a national election. Two results are still to come from nine provincial polls also held on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa, who replaced scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma as president in 2018, had sought to re-engage ANC voters whose support was eroded by faltering efforts to address corruption, unemployment and disparities in housing, land and services.

Reuters

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