With the results in South Africa’s local government election still to be finalised, it appeared that more than 2.6 million voters had deserted the country’s ruling party.
By 8am on Friday morning, with the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) website showing that 91% of the results have been confirmed, the African National Congress (ANC) had garnered only 13.9 million votes.
In the 2011 local government elections the party picked up 16.55 million votes, or almost 62% of the vote nationally.
The biggest challenge to the ANC has come from the main opposition party the Democratic Alliance (DA) and from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – a party that former firebrand ANC youth leader Julius Malema formed after being booted out.
The DA, which in 2011 had picked up 6.4 million votes or almost 24% of the total votes cast, had improved to 6.8 million votes by Friday morning.
But perhaps the biggest difference has been the emergence of the EFF, which had picked up about 2 million votes by Friday morning. The party did not exist in 2011.
The main results that appeared to be outstanding on Friday morning according to the IEC’s website were mostly those from urban areas – areas where both the DA and EFF have performed well so far.
The IEC is expected to formally announce the final results on Saturday.
– African News Agency (ANA)