Local election counting in South Africa | World news


JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa will be counted after local elections on Monday as the ruling African National Congress (ANC) faces dissatisfaction with poor services, high unemployment and creaky infrastructure.

As of 0615 GMT on Tuesday, the ANC had roughly 46% of the votes cast, but relatively few ballots were counted. The turnout was still unclear.

The local elections are crucial for President Cyril Ramaphosa and his party as they try to avert their worst result since the end of white minority rule in 1994. In the last local elections in 2016, the ANC received around 54% of the vote.

Political polls were unreliable, but given the climate of discontent and the limited number of polls carried out, some experts predict that the ANC’s share of the vote could fall below 50% for the first time since the end of apartheid.

The ANC’s reputation has been damaged by corruption scandals under former President Jacob Zuma, Ramaphosa’s predecessor, which undermined the treasury and discouraged investment.

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In 2016, the ANC lost control of the Johannesburg trade center to a coalition of opposition parties as well as the political capital Pretoria and the industrial center of Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth.

Getting less than half of the national votes would be a psychological blow and raise the previously unthinkable possibility that the ANC might one day be in opposition.

(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee and Alexander Winning; editing by Kim Coghill)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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