Ruling ANC leading as South Africa votes counted
Votes from Wednesday’s national and provincial elections in South Africa are being counted and early results from 38% of areas polled indicate the ruling party, African National Congress (ANC) is in the lead.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is hoping to prevent a slide in support for the governing party.
The ANC has won about 56% of the ballot, well ahead of the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on 25%. The radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), is in third place with 9%, based on the official early results.
The ANC took 62% at the last general election in 2014.
The BBC’s election in numbers:
26.76 million registered voters
55% of them are female
A record 48 parties on the ballot
28,757 voting stations
220,000 members of electoral staff
Six million young people did not register to vote
Analysts say that if the ANC vote remains above 55%, it will enable President Ramaphosa to strengthen his grip on the party.
He only became party leader in December 2017, succeeding Jacob Zuma, who was accused of overseeing blatant corruption in the country. He denies any wrongdoing
Turnout was about 65% in the twin parliamentary and provincial elections – a drop compared to the 73% registered five years ago.
Some six million young people didn’t register to vote.
If the ANC vote drops below 50% it could lose control of the biggest, richest province to an opposition alliance.
The ANC currently controls eight of South Africa’s nine provinces.
Casting his vote in the country’s sixth democratic national election since apartheid ended 25 years ago, President Ramaphosa acknowledged the “rampant corruption” of recent years.
“We have made mistakes but we have been sorry about those mistakes and we are saying our people should reinvest their confidence in us,” he said.
“Corruption got into the way, patronage got into the way and not focusing on the needs of our people got in the way.”