ANC takes early lead nationally, EFF seemingly on the way to becoming official opposition in Limpopo

South Africans awoke to the news that with just shy of a third of the votes counted, AgangSA and all the small parties with the exception of Julius Malema’s new Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, had surprised on the downside and the country had moved inexorably closer to becoming a two-party democracy.

DA and ANC
South Africa looks set to become a two-party democracy. (Party representation seen yesterday in Paulshof, Gauteng.) Photo: Leonie B-T

AgangSA, whose leader Mamphela Ramphele perhaps quashed any realistic chance her new party had of making an impact in the polls when she flip-flopped on a deal with the DA, had only garnered 0.2% support.

The African National Congress (ANC) was leading comfortably everywhere except in the Western Cape, where the national opposition Democratic Alliance was comfortably in the lead and was showing signs of winning the province outright.

Western Cape
Western Cape looks set to becoming DA territory. Photo: Gareth Blight

With less than two-thirds of the votes still to be counted, at 10.10 am the ANC was sitting with 61.8% support, trailed by the DA with 24.0% and EFF’s 4.5%.

Apart from the Western Cape where the DA was comfortably out front, this was the picture around the country with the exception of KwaZulu-Natal (where early indications are that the Inkhatha Freedom Party (IFP) may pip the DA to become the official opposition in the province) and Malema’s home province of Limpopo where the EFF had won nearly 10% of the vote.

Interest in the live updates and the data rich offerings from both the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and news giant News24 are frequently becoming unavailable due, one presumes, to larger than expected traffic.

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Quentin Wray is a senior financial journalist, editor and publisher with a wealth of experience running some of the biggest news operations in South Africa. He has edited Business Report, the national financial daily that is part of the Independent Newspapers stable and has more than 1 million daily readers, been the general manager of Independent Online (IOL), South Africa’s second largest digital news provider, and been group executive editor of Business Day and Financial Mail, the best of South Africa’s economic and financial publications. Prior to becoming a journalist Quentin was an accountant for 10 years, serving articles at Deloitte in Zimbabwe and working in a variety of institutions. He moved to the UK with his family in December 2013. In the small amount of spare time that his sons allow him, Quentin is a keen fly fisherman, an avid reader and an ardent Springbok, Protea and Arsenal supporter.