Interesting times ahead after SA elections

By Camagwini Dolweni

Although the ANC has won the national elections after a number of rallies and the millions put into their campaign, they nevertheless narrowly missed achieving the two-thirds majority they had hoped for. Instead, they accumulated a notable 65.9% of the votes which left them only 0.7% short of their goal. The significance of this ‘defeat’ now begs the question: what does this mean for the future of the country, the ANC and their opponents? Where there were many fears of the ANC gaining excessive control with a two-thirds majority, there is now the prospect for anti-Zuma and anti-ANC voters that all may be well.

A two-thirds majority for the ruling party in South Africa means a lot. They can change the Constitution independently, they have more seats in parliament and have the all-important bragging rights to greater authority than any other party. This was the case with the ANC in previous elections and they had hoped that these elections would prove similar, but it did not pan out that way. The ANC’s support declined in all provinces except Mpumalanga and the KwaZulu Natal. They lost control of the Western Cape to the DA and now have 32 less seats in the 400-member National Assembly. It may not sound like a lot, but this does not look very good for the future of the ANC, considering the fact that a reduced majority takes away their power to change the Constitution at their will, strengthening the morale of the civil society. 65.9% compared to 2004’s 69.69% is not a blow to the ruling party, but it definitely leaves a dent in their bravado.

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