Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

South Africa re-elects ANC but anger reigns over corruption and unemployment

The ANC saw its majority reduced in its weakest win for a quarter of a century

A dignitary dressed in the colours of the African National Congress applauds as the final results are announced at the results ceremony at the Independent Electoral Commission Results Center in Pretoria, South Africa Saturday, May 11, 2019. South Africa's ruling African National Congress on Saturday marked its weakest victory in national elections in a quarter-century. AP Photo
A dignitary dressed in the colours of the African National Congress applauds as the final results are announced at the results ceremony at the Independent Electoral Commission Results Center in Pretoria, South Africa Saturday, May 11, 2019. South Africa's ruling African National Congress on Saturday marked its weakest victory in national elections in a quarter-century. AP Photo

South Africa’s ruling National Congress returned to power on Sunday after winning national elections, despite its weakest victory in 25 years.

The ANC won 58 per cent of the vote, while opposition party the Democratic Alliancesecured 21 per cent.

The Economic Freedom Fighters group polled third with 11 per cent.

President Cyril Ramaphosa declared that the vote had given him and others "a firm mandate to build a better South Africa for all".

"Let us now work together, black and white, men and women, young and old, to build a South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it as proclaimed by our forebears," Mr Ramaphosa told supporters in Pretoria.

His party, previously spearheaded by the late Nelson Mandela and which led the fight to end apartheid, won 62 per cent of the vote in 2014.

Mr Ramaphosa has been dogged by allegations of corruption and faced anger at long-standing issues of high unemployment and a stuttering economy.

Low voter turnout, at 65 per cent, reflected disillusionment and disenchantment at the country’s politician’s inability to tackle deep-rooted problems.

South Africa’s unemployment rate stands at 27 per cent, more than half of the number are young people.

Bleak prospects of securing employment plague many in sub Sahara Africa’s largest economy, leading some young voters to vote against the ANC.

"I'm a member of the ANC, but I didn't vote for them this time," construction worker Thabo Makhene told Reuters news agency. "They need to catch a wake-up. The way they run the state, mishandling state funds, they've lost their morals."

Updated: May 12, 2019 11:02 AM

SHARE

SHARE