The African National Congress lost its grip on local government in Tshwane, home of the South African capital Pretoria, as results on Saturday gave the opposition Democratic Alliance a second big win in the ANC’s worst election since the end of apartheid.
The results of Wednesday’s voting have reshaped the political landscape in South Africa, where the ANC has ruled virtually unopposed since it ended white-minority rule in 1994, led by Nelson Mandela, according to Reuters.
Unemployment, economic stagnation and scandals around President Jacob Zuma led voters to punish the ANC, changing the outlook for national elections in 2019 and potentially emboldening Zuma’s rivals within the ANC to challenge him.
Saving some pride, the ANC won in Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic and financial hub, taking 45 percent of the vote to the DA’s 38 percent, but will have to form a coalition to govern.
President Jacob Zuma faced economic challenges
The radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party led by Julius Malema, Zuma’s one-time protege but now arch-foe, came a distant third in the local elections, with about 10 percent of the vote.
“It’s quite clear that our people, our traditional supporters, are still with us but maybe not too many people came out to vote so we need to go back and find out why.”
In his first public remarks since the vote’s outcome, Zuma said South Africa was a “democracy where differences of political opinion and diverse political preferences are allowed to flourish”.
The ANC has lost support among voters who feel their lives have not improved, and the opposition has accused Zuma of mismanaging the economy.
Théogène U @Bwiza.com
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