South Africa: ANC Loses 30-Year Majority in Landmark Election

South Africa: ANC Loses 30-Year Majority in Landmark Election
Image copyright: Chris Jackson/Staff/Chris Jackson Collection via Getty Images

The Facts

  • With more than 99% of the votes counted on Saturday, South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in 30 years, receiving just over 40% of the vote in Wednesday’s election.

  • The ANC, which received 57.5% of the vote in the last parliamentary election, is expected to share power and form a coalition government in Africa's most industrialized economy.

The Spin

Narrative A

South Africans have punished a party — which has never lost since the country's first democratic elections in 1994 — for its failure to fix chronic joblessness, crumbling infrastructure, and widespread corruption. This election result is a momentous breakthrough for South Africa's democracy, which desperately needed to break one-party dominance to rescue itself.

Narrative B

The fact that the ANC still has the largest share of votes shows that South African voters have once again invested confidence in Ramaphosa's ability to continue to lead the country. The ANC led South Africa out of apartheid — it will now lead a credible coalition government as the country enters a new period of profound change.

Metaculus Prediction

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