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President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: X/@CyrilRamaphosa.

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How many votes the ANC has received since 1994

The ruling African National Congress faces the very real possibility of receiving their fewest ever number of votes in next month’s election.

30-04-24 09:31
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President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: X/@CyrilRamaphosa.

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) faces the very real possibility of receiving its fewest ever number of votes in next month’s election.

The seventh general elections since 1994 will take place on Wednesday, 29 May.

The date has been declared a public holiday.

The 1994 election remains the highest in terms of valid votes cast with 19 533 498.

However, that record may fall next month, as, according to the official IEC website27 723 820 voters in South Africa are eligible to mark their ‘X’ in this year’s national and provincial elections.

Whether a new record is set or not, what is without debate is that that number represents the highest total since the dawn of democracy in the country 30 years ago.

The ANC received its greatest number of votes in the 1994 elections (12 237 655) and its highest overall percentage in 2004 (69.69%).

However, that percentage dropped to a record low in the most recent 2019 elections with 57.5%.

Talk suggests that figure could fall below the 50% mark in 2024.


YearTotal votesANC votes%
199419 533 49812 237 65562.65%
199915 977 14210 601 33066.35%
200415 612 67110 880 91569.69%
200917 680 72911 650 74865.90%
201418 402 49711 436 92162.15%
201917 437 37910 026 47557.50%

Meanwhile, it’s important to note that only those who are on the voters roll certified by the IEC (as of 12 March) will be able to vote on 29 May.

“It is impossible to vote in that election if you have not applied for registration before [the close of the voters roll],” confirmed the IEC.

In 2024, the provincial breakdown of the registered voters indicates that Gauteng (23.6%) remains as the biggest voting block, followed by KwaZulu-Natal (20.7%) and the Eastern Cape (12.41%).

1Gauteng6 542 03323.6%
2KwaZulu-Natal5 738 27220.7%
3Eastern Cape3 439 32512.41%
4Western Cape3 317 10211.96%
5Limpopo2 779 66810.03%
6Mpumalanga2 025 0747.3%
7North West1 768 5806.38%
8Free State1 456 9355.26%
9Northern Cape656 8312.37%
TOTAL27 723 820100%

There has been a marked increase in the rate of representation by persons in the age group 18-39 years.

This age band accounts for 42% – or 11.7 million – voters on the voters’ roll.

Interestingly, the trend of there being more females on the voters’ roll continues.

Of the 27.79 million voters, 15 million are females. This represents over 55%.

Since the voters’ roll was compiled for the first time ahead of the 1999 national and provincial elections, it (the voters’ roll) has shown steady growth of over 35% and contains the highest number of registered voters, recording an increase of 9.6 million voters since the 1999 general elections.

The table below illustrates the rate of growth on the voters’ roll for successive elections:

199918.17 million
200420.67 million
200923.18  million
201425.39 million
201926.76 million
202427.79 million


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