The ANC scraped through to take the win in SA’s richest
province Gauteng in the May 8 election, allowing it to retain control of the
economic hub even as opposition parties manage its biggest cities.
The ruling party closed with 50.2% support in
Gauteng, giving it sway in eight of the country’s nine provinces as well as the
national parliament after it looked set to win the sixth national election. The
Democratic Alliance kept control of the Western Cape.
Getting less than half the vote in Gauteng would have meant
the ANC being forced into seeking an alliance with the opposition to lead the
provincial government. While it may still need help of an opposition group to
govern easier, the result means it won’t need to form a coalition with a bigger
party such as the radical Economic Freedom Fighters. That could have meant
concessions on national government policy in return for its support.
Gauteng makes up a third of South Africa’s gross domestic
product and was a key target for the DA. It linked up with the EFF and other
smaller parties to take control of Johannesburg, the country’s biggest city and
financial center, and the capital, Pretoria, in municipal elections three years
The DA won 27.5% support in the province and the EFF at
14.7%. The Freedom Front Plus, Inkatha Freedom Party and African Christian
Democratic Party should also have representation in the regional parliament.
The ANC led the national vote at 57.5% with only one voting
district still outstanding. While this would be the party’s worst performance
on national level since the first all-race election in 1994, it has clawed back
support under President Cyril Ramaphosa after dropping to an all-time low of
54.5% in a municipal vote three years ago when some people boycotted the ballot
after allegations of corruption under former President Jacob Zuma started
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