Polls close after South Africa elections

10 May, 2019, 14:59 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • South Africans vote in general election; sixth poll since 1994

The Democratic Alliance received 22% of the vote so far, the most of any opposition party, about the same share it received in 2014.

Analysts say that if the ANC vote remains above 55%, it will enable President Ramaphosa to strengthen his grip on the party.

South Africa therefore stands of the cusp of another massive change in the composition of the official opposition with the DA expected to get a run for its money from Mr Malema and the EFF who might emerge as the kingmakers in Parliament.

Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said the Electoral Commission hoped that results from around 90% of voting districts would be declared by 10pm local time, with the remaining results to be released on Friday morning.

With the voting part of the 2019 South African elections completed, most citizens are now glued to their TV screens, online or social media platforms, turning their attention to vote-counting.

The vote is the sixth since the end of apartheid in 1994 and the adoption of democracy. The ruling party is being followed by the Democratic Alliance which has 25.97%.

The white minority still owns disproportionately more land than the black majority.

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The economy, Africa's most industrialized, grew an estimated 0.8 percent in 2018 after recovering from a recession in the first half of the year when a drought hit farming, although blackouts at power utility Eskom continue to drag on activity. "You're opening a floodgate, because if you start doing all, If you start doing all of these audits, everybody is going to complain, and when you hear that election results are not going to be announced on Saturday, for me, it's a crisis".

The results threaten to dent President Cyril Ramaphosa's ability to quell opposition in the faction-riven ANC and push through reforms needed to spur growth in Africa's most-industrialized economy. He told the BBC he was celebrating "that our country is now ruled by black people".

South Africans can also make use of the IEC South Africa app for Apple iOS and Android devices.

The ANC achieved its best parliamentary election result in 2004 under former president Thabo Mbeki, when it won 69% of the vote.

While the ruling party looks set to maintain its grip on power for the next five years, the results show that voter support for the ANC - the party of Nelson Mandela - which has ruled since the fall of apartheid in the mid-1990s, is dwindling. It had 23% of the vote, about the same share it received previously. But its support fell under Zuma, and it lost control of big cities like the commercial capital Johannesburg in local government elections in 2016.

It doesn't help that among its ranks, the DA has former apartheid era Afrikaner leaders who are keen to protect white privilege in a multi-racial South Africa.

The ANC's reputation was badly sullied under Zuma. Younger people, in particular, have abandoned the system, with only 19 per cent of the youngest eligible voters (18 and 19 years old) registering to vote this time, a much smaller percentage than in previous elections. The decrease in the ANC's vote could make it more hard for him to remove senior officials and cabinet ministers who have been linked to corruption.

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