South Africa’s ANC set to lose majority for first time since end of apartheid

South Africa’s African National Congress appears on course to lose the parliamentary majority it has held for 30 years, partial results from Wednesday’s national election show, in what would be the most dramatic political shift since the end of apartheid.

With results in from 13.9 percent of polling stations, the ANC’s share of the vote in Wednesday’s election stands at 42.6%, with the pro-business Democratic Alliance (DA) at 25.8% and the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on 8.5%, data from the electoral commission shows.

If the final results were to resemble the early picture, the ANC would be forced to make a deal with one or more other parties to govern — a situation that could lead to unprecedented political volatility in the coming weeks or months.

An alliance with the DA could temper the ANC’s vehement anti-Israel stance in Pretoria, which has spearheaded attempts to charge Israel with genocide at the International Court of Justice. On the other hand, a deal with EFF, which supports arming the Hamas terror group, could have the opposite effect.

“There will be checks and balances on the ANC power, but the ultimate risk is that the infighting could make governance ineffective,” says Simon Harvey, head of foreign exchange analysis at Monex Europe.

The ANC has won national elections held every five years since the landmark 1994 election, which marked the end of apartheid and the ascent of Nelson Mandela as president.

But since those heady days the ANC’s support has declined because of disillusionment over issues such as high unemployment and crime, frequent power blackouts and corruption.

Based on the early results, the ANC is projected to have roughly 42% of the vote when the count is over, according to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, which was providing projections to the state broadcaster SABC.

Most Popular