Voters deal sharp blow to South Africa's ruling party

Published: 05th August 2016 10:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th August 2016 10:14 AM   |  A+A-

South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress, was last night facing its biggest electoral setback as it was locked in a neck and neck battle to retain control over the country's biggest cities.

The ANC and its main opposition, the Democratic Alliance, both held 42 per cent of the vote in both Johannesburg and Pretoria. The DA looked likely to take control of Port Elizabeth, an industrial hub on the southern coast and capital of the Eastern Cape, the heartland of the ANC. The opposition was also projected to cement its leadership in Cape Town and its surroundings.

The ANC had a small lead in the number of seats won in both Johannesburg and Pretoria, and its leaders said they were confident the township voting tallies would nudge them over the finish line because of residual loyalty to the party of Nelson Mandela.

Overall, the ANC held 53 per cent of the votes compared to the DA's 27 per cent. But the result marked a slide in support of the ANC from 61 per cent in the last local election in 2011 in polls widely viewed as a referendum on President Jacob Zuma, who has been accused of corruption and cronyism.

The ANC's secretary general Gwede Mantashe seemed frustrated by the erosion of his party's support, telling one interviewer: "Black people don't appreciate the value of voting." Having refused to bow to considerable pressure within the party to recall Mr Zuma, he will now face fresh calls to persuade the Zulu polygamist to hand the top job over to deputy Cyril Ramaphosa.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp