South Africa Holds Landmark General Election

South Africa Holds Landmark General Election
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The Facts

  • South Africans began voting Wednesday in the most competitive election since the end of apartheid, with polls suggesting the ruling African National Congress (ANC) could lose its outright parliamentary majority.

  • Over 27M South Africans are registered to cast their votes at over 23K polling stations for the provincial assemblies in the country's nine provinces and for a new national parliament. The new parliament will then select the next president.

The Spin

Narrative A

South Africa still faces significant challenges due to its apartheid history, but the ANC has achieved a great deal under Ramaphosa, including several economic reforms and effective measures that were taken to combat crime and corruption. Moreover, decisive action led to reduced power cuts and the revitalization of infrastructure and the construction industry. The ANC led South Africa out of apartheid and will deliver on the promise of the "rainbow nation."

Narrative B

The ANC can no longer rest on the laurels of the past, while economic and social conditions are becoming unbearable for an ever-increasing number of South Africans. The country is on the brink of collapse due to the ANC's corruption, mismanagement, and abuse of power. The people must hold the ANC accountable for undermining the country's institutions and its future as a democratic and prosperous nation for over 30 years.

Narrative C

South African democracy is facing unprecedented challenges. If the ANC falls just short of a majority, the Inkatha Freedom Party is seen as the most likely coalition partner — if the ANC falls below 40%, a coalition of the ANC with the pro-business DA or the ultra-left EFF may be on the cards. All three scenarios pose unique risks to social cohesion, whatever the outcome.

Metaculus Prediction

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