Support for South Africa’s African National Congress dropped to below 60 percent for the first time in an election, marking the ruling party’s worst performance since sweeping to power under Nelson Mandela to end apartheid in 1994.
The ANC, led by President Jacob Zuma, secured 54.5 percent of the popular ballot in an Aug. 3 local government vote, down from 62.2 percent in national elections two years ago, final results released Saturday by the Independent Electoral Commission showed. The opposition Democratic Alliance increased its support to 27 percent support from 22.2 percent. Including voting for ward councilors, the ANC won 53.9 percent and the DA 26.9 percent.
The ANC also relinquished an outright majority in the capital, Pretoria, the biggest city Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, an industrial hub which includes the country’s main airport, and the southern city of Port Elizabeth.