ANC Suffers First Major Losses in in South African Local Elections
The African National Congress (ANC) suffered major losses in South African elections, for the first time since Nelson Mandela was sworn in as President in 1994. The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) won local municipal elections in the city of Port Elizabeth. The coastal city is now called Nelson Mandela Bay. Port Elizabeth is an area where the ANC consistently won with more than 60% of the vote. It now looks like they will lose by a 5-6% margin.
The two parties are in a close fight for Johannesburg and Pretoria, though he ANC is still in the lead nationally with 54% of the vote. No party is likely to win an outright majority in Johannesburg or Pretoria. Coalition negotiations are already underway. The ANC losses in these local South African elections are the result of corruption and a stagnant economy. Black middle-class voters in the major population centers were largely responsible the sharp decline in the ANC vote.
Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president of South Africa, said at a news conference on Friday afternoon that the organization would “We are a party that’s not going away from the body politic of this country……Where we have shown areas of weakness, we are going to get better and improve. That’s who we are. We learn from our mistakes.” Ramaphosa is considered a leading contender to be succeed the A.N.C.’s presidential candidate in 2019.