South Africa Edges Towards Coalition Government as ANC Falls Short of Majority

Grayson Larkspur

Updated Friday, May 31, 2024 at 6:09 AM CDT

South Africa Edges Towards Coalition Government as ANC Falls Short of Majority

South Africa is on the brink of a national coalition government, with partial election results indicating that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) is falling well short of a majority. With over half of the votes counted, the ANC has garnered just under 42% of the national vote, a substantial decline from the 57.5% it achieved in the 2019 national election. The final results are expected to be announced by Sunday, according to the election commission.

The current count from more than 13,000 of the 23,000 polling stations suggests that the ANC may need a coalition partner to form a government and reelect President Cyril Ramaphosa. John Steenhuisen, leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) party, expressed openness to collaborating with the ANC but emphasized the need to consult with other parties with which he has pre-election agreements. "The way to rescue South Africa is to break the ANC’s majority and we have done that," Steenhuisen declared. The DA currently stands second in the partial count with around 24% of the votes.

Political analysts warn that prolonged coalition negotiations could lead to market instability. Despite months of speculation, the ANC has been reticent about potential coalition partners. The extent of the ANC's shortfall in the final results will dictate its coalition strategies. If just shy of a majority, the ANC might approach smaller parties to surpass the 50% threshold. A significant shortfall, however, might necessitate alliances with either the DA or the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The MK party of former President Jacob Zuma has ruled out collaborating with the ANC. An ANC-EFF coalition could unsettle investors due to the EFF's commitment to nationalizing parts of the economy. Conversely, the inclusion of the business-friendly DA in a coalition would likely be welcomed by investors.

For 30 years, since the 1994 election, the ANC has maintained a clear majority. However, its support has waned from nearly 70% two decades ago. South Africa currently faces severe socioeconomic issues, including widespread poverty and a 32% unemployment rate. Projections from a government agency and national broadcaster SABC suggest the ANC might end up with just over 40%, marking a drop of about 17 percentage points.

The potential absence of an outright winner is expected to trigger intense political negotiations post-final results. Electing the head of state will be the primary task, as South Africans vote for parties rather than directly for the president. The election results determine parliamentary seats, and lawmakers then choose the president.

Lacking a majority, the ANC will need to secure agreements or form a coalition to govern and reelect President Cyril Ramaphosa for a second term. Any coalition formed will be crucial in passing laws and implementing government policies. Without such an agreement, the ANC would be unable to govern effectively.

The final national election results must be announced within seven days of polls closing on Wednesday, with the independent electoral commission confirming the results will be declared by Sunday. Following the results announcement, the new Parliament has 14 days to hold its first sitting and elect a president. This interim period is anticipated to be marked by intense negotiations between parties. The ANC has yet to indicate potential coalition partners, leaving the political landscape of South Africa in a state of flux.

Conservative Bias:

Well, folks, here we go again. The leftist policies of the ANC have finally brought South Africa to its knees. After years of corruption, mismanagement, and pandering to the whims of socialist ideologues, the ANC has lost its grip on power. This is what happens when you let liberals run the show—they promise the moon but deliver nothing but poverty and unemployment. Now, the ANC is scrambling to form a coalition because they can't even secure a majority. And who are they turning to? The radical EFF, who want to nationalize the economy and scare off every last investor. This is the liberal legacy: economic ruin, instability, and a desperate grasp for power at any cost. The only hope is that the business-friendly DA can bring some sanity back to governance, but don't hold your breath. The left has a way of dragging everyone down with them.

Liberal Bias:

What we are witnessing in South Africa is the catastrophic result of decades of conservative misrule and neoliberal policies masquerading as governance. The ANC, once a beacon of hope, has been corrupted by the very same right-wing economic policies that have devastated countless nations. Their obsession with privatization and austerity has left the country in shambles, with soaring unemployment and rampant poverty. And now, as they teeter on the edge of losing power, the conservatives are looking to form alliances with the very forces that have opposed meaningful social change. The DA, with its business-friendly facade, is nothing more than a puppet for corporate interests, ready to sell out the people at the first opportunity. The ANC's flirtation with the EFF is a desperate attempt to cling to power, but the real blame lies with the conservative rot that has infected South African politics for far too long.

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