Saturday, June 15, 2024

South Africa Votes in Historic Election as ANC Faces Potential Loss of Majority

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Millions of South Africans headed to the polls this morning in what is being touted as the most pivotal election since the end of apartheid. For the first time in 30 years, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) risks losing its parliamentary majority, according to recent opinion polls.

From early morning, long lines formed at polling stations in major cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban, as well as in townships and rural areas. Voters cited high unemployment, rampant crime, frequent power outages, and corruption within the ANC as key reasons for seeking change.

Skhumbuzo Mnyandu, a 48-year-old business owner from KwaMashu, expressed his long-time support for the ANC but revealed his switch to the uMkhonto we Sizwe party, backed by former President Jacob Zuma, due to disillusionment with the current government. Similarly, other voters across the country echoed their frustration with the ANC’s performance, while some remained loyal, skeptical of opposition promises.

The ANC, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, has been the dominant political force since Nelson Mandela’s historic election victory in 1994. However, if the party fails to secure over 50% of the vote, it will need to form a coalition government—a first for South Africa’s young democracy.

Despite the challenges, Ramaphosa expressed confidence in his party’s prospects after casting his vote in Soweto. “I have no doubt whatsoever in my heart of hearts that the people will invest their confidence in the African National Congress,” he stated.

The pro-business Democratic Alliance (DA), the official opposition, and other parties like the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Zuma’s new MK party, are hoping to capitalize on the ANC’s declining support. EFF leader Julius Malema was particularly vocal about his ambitions to unseat the ANC, emphasizing the need for radical economic reforms.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) reported a smooth voting process at most locations, with minor incidents such as delays in ballot paper delivery and voters being turned away due to registration issues. By midday, a significant number of the 27 million registered voters had cast their ballots, reflecting high voter enthusiasm.

The IEC expects to start releasing partial results within hours of polls closing, with final results anticipated within three to four days.

As South Africans await the outcome, the election’s result could mark a significant shift in the country’s political landscape, potentially ending the ANC’s decades-long dominance and ushering in a new era of coalition politics.

8 COMMENTS

  1. A special congratulations to all voting south Africans as you an opportunity to make a difference and show us the way to go , though as Zambia we well know how teach politicians as we have done always , but hope our politicians in Zambia can pick lessons from the on going South African elections .
    Once again we pray for peace and unit during and after the on going elections

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    • Show us? We have undergone political changes that South Africa is yet to go through. Its them that need to learn from us. They have never changed a ruling paty.

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