South Africa: Early election results suggest that Ramaphosa’s ANC is retaining power

South Africa: Early election results suggest that Ramaphosa’s ANC is retaining power

It doesn't help that among its ranks, the DA has former apartheid era Afrikaner leaders who are keen to protect white privilege in a multi-racial South Africa.

"The outcome of this election will be a major boost for investors. and investor confidence, it's about confidence and about the future", Ramaphosa said after voting on Wednesday.

Not anything near breaking news - the ANC will win the national vote.

As of 11pm on Thursday, 68% of votes had been counted.

This suggests that while the elections may be over, the real work for Cyril Ramaphosa may be only just beginning.

Yet Mr Ramaphosa, chosen to replace him by the narrowest of margins, has always been vulnerable to elements of the party suspicious of his pro-business instincts and his promises to end corruption.

With three quarters of votes counted, it's now clear the main opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), failed to capitalise on years of government corruption and economic stagnation.

Preliminary results showed that the ANC captured nearly 58 per cent of the votes, leaving far behind the second biggest party - the Democratic Alliance which garnered more than 22 per cent of the votes. Voter apathy appeared to have affected turnout, which fell to 65% from 74% in 2014.

The populist, left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters increased its share of the vote from 6% to 10%. These include instances where they believe a voter was ineligible to vote or has voted a few times.

Some analysts believe lack of political involvement is a sign of unhappiness in a suffering economy and lack of faith in the two opposition parties. "I'm quite content with where we are at the moment as a party", he told reporters at the results centre.

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The EFF has called for the seizure of all white-owned farmland to help reduce the persistently high rates of inequality and poverty in South Africa.

And with Ramaphosa's tepid support, the ANC is now looking into amending the Constitution to allow such land seizures. The DA has controlled the Western Cape, home to Cape Town, where parliament resides, since 2009 and held a more comfortable lead there today. But his supporters are fighting an internal feud with Mr. Zuma's faction, which has remained heavily influential in the ANC.

The DA is third in the province with 14.3% of the vote (up from 12.76%), while the EFF has made significant inroads, now having a support base of 9.13%, up from 1.85% in 2014.

The BBC's Andrew Harding in Johannesburg says the party's stance has forced the ANC to consider drastic measures to transfer more land, more quickly, into black hands, which has resulted in a pledge to conduct land expropriation without compensation.

But the ANC's list of parliamentary candidates contains many hardliners who are opposed to Ramaphosa's reformist agenda and could frustrate his initiatives in parliament.

The African National Congress (ANC) was headed toward victory in South Africa's election on Friday according to partial early results, though the party was on course for its worst performance in a national poll in its 25 years in government.

Polls predicted the ANC would win between 55% and 62% of the vote in this election.

The IEC reports that 64.56 percent of registered voters turned up to make their mark yesterday.

The ANC went into the elections following the resignation of former President Jacob Zuma previous year.

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