South Africa’s ruling ANC loses support in local municipal polls

Party once led by Nelson Mandela receives less than 50% of vote for 1st time since 1994

Hassan Isilow   | 05.11.2021
South Africa’s ruling ANC loses support in local municipal polls


South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC), in power since the end of apartheid in 1994, lost its dominance in local government elections according to results Thursday, receiving less than 50% of the vote for the first time.

The party, once led by global icon Nelson Mandela, garnered 54% in the 2016 local government polls and 64% in the previous election.

According to Thursday’s results, the ANC received 46% of the vote, wining the majority votes in 161 out of the 213 contested municipalities.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) won 22% of the vote, getting a majority in 13 municipalities, and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) managed to get the majority in 10 municipalities. Several parties contested in the election.

The chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Glen Mashinini, declared the elections “free and fair.”

“The fact that we are here today, having delivered these elections, is an achievement we should all be proud of as a nation. Our thriving, vibrant and maturing democracy has indeed withstood the test thrown at it," he said.

Experts say the ANC’s reduced majority now leaves it with no option but to begin negations with other parties to form coalition governments in the metros it did not win.

Some 12.3 million people in South Africa cast their votes Monday to elect local government representatives in a hotly contested election, with many demanding better services. A total of 26.2 million people had registered to vote.

There were more than 23,000 polling stations across the country. According to the IEC, there were no outright winners in 66 municipalities.

The main opposition DA retained its stronghold of Cape Town city, but with a reduced majority.

The ANC lost support in some of the major metros it was controlling previously including the financial hub Johannesburg, getting 33.60%, and 42.02% in Ekurhuleni east of Johannesburg.

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