South Africans vote in parliamentary elections

South Africans vote in parliamentary elections

It is 25 years since the end of apartheid, but despite the demise of the harsh system of racial discrimination, the country remains divided by economic inequality.

The African National Congress was headed for victory in South Africa's election today, although the party was on course for its worst performance since it took power 25 years ago.

The elections are the first test of national sentiment since President Cyril Ramaphosa replaced scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma as head of state in February 2018 after four years as his deputy.

Of the 47 opposition parties in the race, only the main opposition centrist DA and the radical-left EFF are major players.

"He has promised us jobs". "I am voting for a different party".

The populist, leftist Economic Freedom Fighters also made official graft one of its main campaign issues and increased its share of Wednesday's vote to just over 9%. "But if you need change, the EFF is the way to go".

"Lower black voter support is a big problem for the ANC". However, registration of voters under 30 years old was relatively low.

Professor Kwandiwe Kondlo from the politics department at the University of Johannesburg told SBS News the ANC is expected to secure another parliamentary majority this week, but he predicted that the size of the majority could fall.

Nationally, the ANC now leads with a 57.08% share of the vote, with 82.67% of voting stations finalised.

The ANC has criticized the EFF proposal, but it has supported a plan to amend the constitution to authorize the seizure of land without compensation in some circumstances.

A poor showing for the ANC would embolden opponents of President Cyril Ramaphosa and risk a potential challenge to his leadership, analysts have said.

A first meeting of the new parliament has been provisionally set for May 22, where the president is due to be officially elected. Voters cast ballots for a national party and the number of votes won by each party determines how many representatives are sent to the legislature.

During a meeting with the press, ECSA president Sy Mamabolo said that several people were arrested for having voted twice, a criminal action punishable by 10 years in prison, and that agency will conduct an audit of the results to confirm whether more facts of that kind occurred.

TRT World's Ben Said has this report from Johannesburg.

But the achievements of the 1980s and 1990s resonate less with younger voters, and internal factional fighting has alienated many.

"We are a party for all South Africans".

"What I think is important to recognise is the deepening of our democracy", she said at the IEC in Pretoria.

Herald ReporterSouth Africans today hold their sixth democratic elections which will usher in the fourth president of the country since the end of apartheid in 1994.

He said he didn't support a re-run of the vote "at this stage".

Looking at provincial legislatures, the ANC has secured a majority in seven of the nine provinces, with only the Western Cape being run by a different majority party (the DA) and Gauteng now showing a share under 50% for the ANC. "They have won since 1994 and it will happen again".

Hundreds of people covered in blankets and coats in the chilly winter morning gathered outside a polling station in Soweto, where Ramaphosa cast his vote. Van Tonder is one of the almost 6 million eligible voters under 30 who did not register.

But the ANC faces widespread apathy among voters born after apartheid, known as the "born-free" generation, with millions who failed even to register to vote.

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