South Africa has voted
ANC loses support – Ramaphosa does not
Despite a significant loss in votes, the African National Congress (ANC) is the clear winner of the 8 May national and provincial elections. President Ramaphosa receives a five-year mandate to pull the country out its economic doldrums. The next months will show whether the 57.5% of votes cast in favour of the ANC grant Ramaphosa enough power to marginalize his party opponents, many of which have an undesirable and corrupt reputation even within their own party. With regards to opposition parties, the radical left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) managed to win over many of the lost ANC voters, while electoral support for the liberal Democratic Alliance (DA) slightly declined for the first time. A low voter turnout of only 66 percent can be read as an expression of voter dissatisfaction in both ruling and opposition parties. Over the longer term, the country will transition to coalition governments, as indicated by the election result in the economic heartland of Gauteng: here, the ANC scraped into a position of absolute majority by only the thinnest of margins.