(BBC) The first results have been announced from what is seen as South Africa's most closely fought elections since the African National Congress (ANC) came to power 30 years ago.

With results from around 21% voting districts counted so far, the ANC is leading with 44%, followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) with 25%.

The radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has about 9%, while the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK Party) of former President Jacob Zuma is on around 8%.

Final results are expected over the weekend.

The initial results suggest the ANC will lose its parliamentary majority for the first time since Nelson Mandela led the party to victory following the end of the racist system of apartheid in 1994.

Many voters blame the ANC for the high levels of corruption, crime and unemployment in the country.

The respected Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the News24 website have projected that the party's final vote could be around 42%, down from the 57% it obtained in the 2019 election.

This would force it go into a coalition with one or more of the other parties in order to form a majority in parliament.

The DA has liberal economic policies, while both the EFF and MK favour more state intervention and nationalisation, so the choice of partner would make a huge difference to South Africa's future direction.

It is unclear whether President Cyril Ramaphosa will remain in power, as he could come under pressure from the ANC to resign if the party gets less than 45% of the final vote.

South Africans do not directly vote for a president. Instead they vote for members of parliament who will then go on to elect the president.

Previous Post Next Post