News / Africa

    Fifth Consecutive Electoral Victory for ANC

    A man walks past an election poster of Jacob Zuma's African National Congress (ANC) party in the Soweto township of Johannesburg, South Africa Friday, May 9, 2014.
    A man walks past an election poster of Jacob Zuma's African National Congress (ANC) party in the Soweto township of Johannesburg, South Africa Friday, May 9, 2014.
    Anita Powell
    South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) won this year’s election, guaranteeing it another five years at the helm of Africa’s most advanced nation, but the ANC's share of the vote slipped. 

    In all, nearly 19 million votes were cast in last week’s national and provincial polls. With all votes counted, the ANC won just over 62 percent of the poll, compared to the opposition Democratic Alliance's 22 percent.

    South African President Jacob Zuma said Saturday that his party regards the election results as a "strong sign of approval" of the work his party has done over the past 20 years. 

    Zuma said the victory confirmed the ANC remains the "only true hope" for most South Africans, particularly the poor and those in the working class.

    "In this regard, we will use our majority to implement policies and progress that will further improve the quality of life for all, especially the poor," he said.

    In an impressive achievement for a party that was launched just last year, the far-left, radical Economic Freedom Fighters nabbed third place.

    The success of the party, which targeted South Africa’s large population of unemployed youth, reflects South Africa’s demographic shift toward a younger population, as does the fact that the EFF shoved aside the venerable Inkatha Freedom Party, which is led by an 85-year-old man, the respected Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

    Independent political analyst Ralph Mathekga says the raw numbers do not tell the whole story. He noted that although the ANC won comfortably, it has steadily lost ground since at least 2004. 

    “There isn’t much to celebrate," Mathekga said. "It should humble the ANC to go and do some work. And when it comes to the DA...the DA has got a lot to celebrate. They’ve grown. They’ve increased their margins in all areas. They’ve not recorded any loss of margin in any province."

    Mathekga says of all the parties, the DA is the only one that has been able to gain ground with each election, while the ANC consistently sheds 3 percent. 

    The ANC has been dogged by criticism over its failure to provide all South Africans with basic services. To this day, some 3 million South Africans do not have electricity.

    More recently, the party has been tainted by a major scandal revolving around Zuma, the party’s leader. He is accused of spending about $23 million in public funds to renovate his private home in rural KwaZulu-Natal province. 

    However, the ANC, by virtue of being the only party to rule South Africa since apartheid’s end in 1994, is also the party responsible for extending development to benefit the nation’s black majority, which was shut out under the former apartheid government. The party trumpeted this fact in its campaign, but Mathekga says that voters increasingly feel that is not enough. 

    “This type of vote that they’ve got, it’s more like a 'maintenance vote' where the voters are saying to the ANC they should go fix some of the problems, and some of the challenges that they have,” he said.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: harry from: australia
    May 10, 2014 10:43 PM
    I dont really know how credible the elections were but it is hard to imagine how a corrupt inefficient govt gets re-elected in a democracy.Many of those that the ANC depends on votes for are still mired in poverty,inadequate housing and a dismal lack of infrastructure not mentioning one of highest crime rate in the world.I wonder if the 5yr term gifted to the ANC is a licence for the politicians to enrich themselves.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora