South Africa election: Why is Nelson Mandela’s ANC party facing setback after 30 years of enjoying the majority?

The final results will be announced by Sunday

South Africa election results (File) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks at an election rally in Chatsworth, South Africa | Reuters

The early trends of the South African general election results showed the ruling African National Congress (ANC) losing its ground, while the Opposition parties were performing well. However, ANC deputy secretary-general Nomvula Mokonyane said it was still early to say whether it would lose its majority.

"The race is not over yet," said Mokonyane.

The ANC had 2.5% of the vote after the election commission released results from 27.18% of polling stations.

The party of Nelson Mandela will be forced to form a coalition with other small parties if it does not get enough majority to form the government. ANC had held the parliamentary majority for at least 30 years.

The opposition party, Democratic Alliance (DA) received 25.1% and Marxist Economic Freedom Fights (EFF) party got 9 % as per the latest results released by the electoral commission. The new party led by former president Jacob Zuma, uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) got 8.6 % of the votes as well.

The final results will come in only on Sunday.

What led to ANC losing ground in South Africa?

Among various reasons, experts believe that Zuma's new party is one of the major reasons for eating up the ANC's votes. Around 50 % of the votes that should have gone to ANC are going to MK, they said.

Also, corruption scandals have adversely affected the party. Unemployment, poverty, infrastructure crumbling, and power outage issues paved the way for many citizens to lose faith in the government.

ANC has won every national election since a landmark 1994 vote ended white minority rule and brought Mandela to power.

In South Africa, the parties' shares of vote determine the number of seats they get in the National Assembly, which then elects the next president.

The business community had raised its concerns over a coalition with EFF and Zuma MK as they stand for the nationalisation of mines and banks and the seizure of white-owned land.

EFF leader Julius Malema and MK's Zuma had left ANC to form another party. In 2018, Zuma was forced to quit as president after scandals.

The DA has vowed to oust the ANC, though its leader John Steenhuisen has not ruled out a partnership if it would prevent what he has called a "doomsday coalition" with the ANC bringing the EFF or MK into government, reported Reuters.

The new parliament must convene within 14 days of final results being declared and its first act must be to elect the president.

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