ANC Takes Commanding Lead in South Africa’s Election But Support Ebbs

By Mfuneko Toyana and Alexander Winning

PRETORIA – The African National Congress (ANC) was headed toward victory in South Africa’s election on Friday, partial results showed, though the party was on course for its worst performance in a national poll in its 25 years in government.

Supporters of South Africa’s governing African National react during the party’s final rally at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, May 5, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

As of 07h30, ballots in 75.6 percent of 22,925 voting districts had been counted. The tallies put the ANC on 57 percent in the parliamentary race, with the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on 22 percent and the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on 10 percent. Details below:

South African national election results count at 07h30

South African national election results count at 07h30

The former liberation party of Nelson Mandela has not won less than a 60 percent share of the vote since it swept to power in South Africa’s first all-race election in 1994, marking the end of white minority rule.

Based on the latest results from the Electoral Commission, analysts predicted the ANC was set for a vote share of between 55 percent and 59 percent. A poor showing for the ANC would embolden opponents of President Cyril Ramaphosa and risk a potential challenge to his leadership, analysts have said.

“The ANC will be elected with a record low of 27 percent of the eligible population backing them, compared with 47 percent in 1999. This kind of dynamic is not a mandate nor an impetus to change,” said Peter Attard Montalto, head of capital markets research at Intellidex.

Based on results captured to date, the highest voter turnout was reported in Gauteng (71.88%) and the lowest in Limpopo (58.37%).

(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Alexander Winning; writing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; editing by Phil Berlowitz, Bill Rigby and Leslie Adler)