xi's moments
Home | Africa

South Africa ruling party loses majority

Experts predict coalition as ANC gets 40% votes for first time in 30 years

By NDUMISO MLILO in Johannesburg | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-06-03 09:17

African National Congress' deputy secretary-general Nomvula Mokonyane (center) talks with daughter of former president Jacob Zuma, Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, in Johannesburg on Saturday. THEMBA HADEBE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

South Africa's governing party African National Congress has for the first time in 30 years lost its political dominance in the country's elections.

South Africa conducted the national and provincial elections on Wednesday. With more than 99 percent of the votes counted as of Sunday morning, the ANC was said to have won 40.2 percent of the vote. The Democratic Alliance was said to have 21.78 percent, followed by the uMkhonto weSizwe party with 14.59 percent and Economic Freedom Fighters with 9.51 percent.

The final result is expected to be announced on Sunday evening by South Africa's Electoral Commission at an event to be attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The country is required by law to form a government 14 days after elections. It is expected that the parties will start negotiating after the final results have been released.

It marks the first time the ruling party fell below the 50 percent needed to maintain its 30-year-old unchallenged majority in the National Assembly.

The ANC, which came to power in 1994 following the end of the apartheid, had secured majority votes in all the previous elections. It got 62 percent in 1994 and more than 57 percent in 2019.

The ANC remains respected for its progressive social welfare and black economic empowerment policies which are said to have helped millions of black families out of poverty, Agence France-Presse reported.

Gideon Chitanga, a researcher with the University of Johannesburg's Centre for Africa-China Studies, said the ANC will have to negotiate with other parties and form a coalition government.

"It is a wake-up call for the ANC and we do not know what will happen in the next five years," said Chitanga.

"The ANC is committed to the formation of a government that reflects the will of the people, that is stable and that is able to govern effectively," Fikile Mbalula, secretary-general of the ANC, said at a news briefing on Sunday.

The voters of South Africa have shown they expect the leaders of this country to work together in the interests of all, said Mbalula. "We wish to assure the people of South Africa that we have heard them. We have heard their concerns, their frustrations and their dissatisfaction."

The ANC has many options for coalition partners among other parties, including one with DA, The Associated Press reported.

Open to engagement

"We'll talk to everybody," Mbalula said. "We are engaged and we are open to engagement. We need stability in this country."

Nearly 28 million South Africans were registered to vote, and turnout was expected to be around 60 percent, according to the electoral commission.

The ANC's national executive committee met on Friday to discuss their performance in the elections and the results of the meeting have not been communicated to the public.

Mbalula said the ANC's leadership would meet on Tuesday for discussions on the way forward.

UMkhonto weSizwe, led by former president Jacob Zuma, has slammed the door on the ANC by saying they won't go into coalition with them.

DA chairwoman Helen Zille said all options were on the table, including allowing the ANC to rule alone as a minority government.

Chitanga said the ANC has to "go to the drawing board", analyze where it went wrong and correct its mistakes. It remains to be seen how the ANC will respond if they will reshuffle the leadership or not, said Chitanga.

The African Union Election Observation Mission to South Africa's 2024 elections has disclosed that the elections were conducted in a peaceful manner despite a tense political environment.

Agencies and Xinhua contributed to this story.

The author is a freelance writer for China Daily.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349