National 4.8.2016 03:47 pm

International media reacts to municipal elections

A resident of Zandspruit casts her vote, 3 August 2016, in the local government elections. Picture: Michel Bega

A resident of Zandspruit casts her vote, 3 August 2016, in the local government elections. Picture: Michel Bega

The municipal election results ‘will reveal whether the ANC is losing its grip on power two decades after the end of apartheid’.

The reaction by the international media to SA’s elections revolved around several points, with common ground being found in a general analysis.

That the ruling African National Congress (ANC) is having one of the biggest political shake-ups since it swept to power in 1994, due in no small part to corruption and a stagnant economy; that the rival Democratic Alliance (DA) will take several major cities away from the ANC; and that parties with the strongest support may have to form a coalition in some municipalities.

Below are excerpts from some of the bigger international media outlets.

The Wall Street Journal:

In the midst of a stagnant economy and widespread corruption, millions of South Africans took to the polls Wednesday in what many are calling the most important vote since Nelson Mandela was elected president in 1994.

The ruling African National Congress — a party that contains a broad spectrum of political philosophies from free-market liberalism to communism — has successfully weathered many political storms during its 22 years in power.

But with weak growth and a barrage of allegations against President Jacob Zuma, the party faces an unprecedented challenge, which could push the ANC out of power in some of South Africa’s most important cities for the first time since the end of apartheid.

But the ANC’s inability to deliver public services in many major metropolitan areas has swayed some voters.

The Guardian:

Results from South Africa’s fiercely contested local elections could deliver a setback to the African National Congress, with early indications on Thursday showing support for the party that ended apartheid falling below 60% for the first time and leaving it at risk of losing key cities.

Al Jazeera:

South African municipal election results will reveal whether the African National Congress is losing its grip on power two decades after the end of apartheid. This election is expected to be the closest one ever. The ANC’s steady decline could be at a tipping point in several important metropolitan areas.

Both the ANC and DA will probably find themselves forced to court smaller parties and independent candidates to piece together outright municipal majorities.

Reuters:

South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance led in three major cities on Thursday as votes were counted in local elections, threatening to deal the biggest electoral blow to the African National Congress since the end of apartheid two decades ago.

A significant loss of support for the ruling party in these areas could mark a watershed in South African society and politics as the country shifts from what has effectively been a one-party system in the era immediately post-apartheid.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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