ANC loses an election

The Guardian reports:

South Africans have delivered a stinging rebuke to the ANC, handing the party its first major election setback since it swept to power after the end of apartheid over two decades ago.

Frustrated with a stagnant economy, a 25% unemployment rate and corruption allegations against Jacob Zuma, the president, voters in local elections turned away from the ruling party in their millions and it has been defeated in two of the three cities where it faced the strongest challenge.

The ANC is likely to claim a slim overall majority when final results are announced, but it has lost control of Port Elizabeth, an industrial city on the south coast, and Pretoria, the capital. It did manage to win narrowly in the municipality of Johannesburg, the nation’s economic hub, but failed to win an outright majority.

In the Nelson Mandela Bay area, which includes Port Elizabeth, the DA secured enough votes to promise that although they would need to govern in coalition, they would not partner with the ANC.

This is good. The true test of whether a country is a democracy is whether the government ever loses an election and the opposition get to form Government.

This is only provincial elections, but may bode well for the next parliamentary elections.

For decades the ANC has claimed an unshakeable dominance of South African politics, entering elections with an expectation of victory that critics say has contributed to stagnation and corruption.

It is good to have a spell in opposition. If Labour in NZ can’t become electable, then National should throw the 2023 election as a matter of principle.

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