The ANC risks losing its majority in a crucial vote

Residents line up to cast their votes for the national elections on May 29, 2024 in Matatiele, South Africa.

J. Countess | Getty Images News | Getty Images

South Africa's ruling African National Congress appears to be on the verge of losing majority control in the country's most seismic political transition since the end of apartheid.

Early indications from 13.99% of polls show the ANC gaining 42.58% of support, with the Democratic Alliance taking 25.82% of the vote, with the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters in tow with 8.47%.

Reuters reported that the country's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research had separately forecast that the ANC would win around 42% of the national vote, contrary to forecasts made when 8.5% of polling stations had recorded results.

Preliminary results are still subject to change.

The news could have implications for investors after the ANC – Nelson Mandela's party, emblematic of the struggle for liberation from white minority rule – focused its economic policies on inclusivity and raising living standards for the disadvantaged. Despite these efforts, the World Bank will in 2022 called South Africa 'the most unequal country in the world', while systemic problems such as chronic blackouts, unemployment of almost 33% and high crime rates continue to haunt the country of more than 62 million inhabitants.

The International Monetary Fund projects that South Africa Gross domestic product will increase by 0.9% in 2024.

The ANC's prominence has been on the decline, with Statista data showing the party secured a 57.5% majority in the previous 2019 vote – its weakest result since the introduction of South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994 .

“Under my leadership, the ANC conducted a formidable and clean campaign with our volunteers across the length and breadth of our country. The democratic process will emerge victorious,” ANC leader and incumbent South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, 71, said on social media on Wednesday. media.

Ramaphosa, who assumed the presidency in 2018, helped establish the National Union of Mineworkers in 1982 and led one of the largest strikes in the country's history. He is seeking a second term after surviving a scandal over the theft of more than half a million dollars and being acquitted of wrongdoing in 2023. according to the Associated Press.

The U.S. dollar was up 1.31% against the South African rand at 8:30 a.m. London time after the report. Johannesburg's main stock index fell 1.8% on Thursday morning.

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