By Chris Zumani Zimba
With the social media political publicity of the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and its controversial leader, Julius Malema as well as the exaggerated popularity of traditional Democratic Alliance (DA) of Mmusi Maimane, many observers across Africa and the globe were misled to start believing that South African ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) were bound to fall by failing winning more than 50% of the total parliamentary seats. This would have ended their record of maintaining a majoritarian rule and consequently necessitated to open a new chapter of creating negotiated governments, coalition governments to be specific. But the final election results showed the total opposite, the ANC, Africa’s oldest political party is still the most popular political party among majority South Africans.
The combined popularity of the DA, EFF and all opposition parties in South Africa is dwarfed and falls short to beat the ANC as Cyril Ramaphosa led ruling party won with almost 58% parliamentary votes and will still form government alone. The DA won 20.77% of the vote, a 2% decline from 2014 while the EFF won almost 11% of the vote, polled about 5% higher than in its first election in 2014. After being in power for 25years and still winning big to govern alone, the ANC has stunned South Africa’s energetic and youthful opposition politically too impotent, talkative without voter numbers and merely good on social media for nothing.
On 11th May, 2019, South Africa’s electoral commission announced that, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) had won South Africa’s parliamentary elections with 57.5 percent of the vote. Being a parliamentary democracy, ANC leader, Cyril Ramaphosa will continue to govern Africa’s largest economy by starting his first full 5 years term although he can be withdrawn and replaced by the party leadership on the way. Saturday’s win assured a sixth straight term in power for the ANC. But the result was the worst-ever electoral showing for the party, which has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid 25 years ago. Support for the ANC has steadily declined since it took a record 69 percent of the vote in 2004. This year’s electoral performance comes amid growing voter frustration over rampant corruption and high unemployment rates.
According to the BBC President Ramaphosa re-assured the South African people in a victory speech in the northern city of Pretoria. “Our people have given all of the leaders of our country a firm mandate to build a better South Africa for all”, he observed. Earlier on the same day, Jessie Duarte, ANC deputy secretary-general, struck a more sombre tone, saying the party would move swiftly to counter corruption and increase economic growth.
By way of emphasis, the ANC was initially founded as the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) on 8 January 1912 in Bloemfontein, with the aim of fighting for the rights of black South Africans. The organization was renamed the ANC in 1923.
Chris Zumani Zimba is a prolific Political Scientist, Policy Analyst, Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher, Consultant, Public Health and Tobacco Control Advocate. Besides being the CEO at Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU) in Zambia, he analyses African politics weekly on Voice of the Cape Town, South Africa every Wednesday at 16:45hours CAT. So far, he has authored more than 10 political and academic books as well as published over 100 well researched articles on African politics and public health. Sometimes, he lectures Political Science-Part Time with University of Zambia (UNZA) and University of Lusaka (UNILUS) outside his usual commitments. Chriszumanizimba.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; +260 973 153 815 for calls or WhatsApp