South Africa’s President Ramaphosa Acknowledges ANC’s Poor Election Result

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has accepted the challenging election outcome for his African National Congress (ANC) party, as they lost their majority for the first time since apartheid ended 30 years ago. The ANC, previously led by Nelson Mandela, secured 159 seats in the 400-seat parliament in the recent election, a decrease from the 230 seats they held in the previous assembly. Despite the setback, Mr. Ramaphosa remains positive, referring to the results as a triumph for democracy and urging rival parties to find common ground for potential coalition talks. With the ANC’s vote share dropping to 40%, down from 58% in the prior election, the party is now compelled to form a coalition to govern the nation.

The centre-right Democratic Alliance (DA) emerged as the second-largest party in parliament with 87 seats and has signaled openness to coalition discussions. However, the DA opposes key ANC policies such as black empowerment initiatives and the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill. Meanwhile, former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party secured 58 seats and expressed willingness to collaborate with the ANC, albeit not under Mr. Ramaphosa’s leadership. Mr. Zuma, a prominent figure in South African politics, has called for an election rerun and questioned the validity of the results, raising concerns about potential unrest among his supporters.

The election outcome reflects growing discontent among South Africans, particularly the youth, over issues like corruption, unemployment, and inadequate public services. The ANC’s declining popularity underscores the country’s ongoing struggles with economic inequality, with many feeling that political changes have not translated into meaningful economic progress. As the political landscape evolves post-election, the focus remains on addressing the country’s pressing challenges and fostering unity among diverse political factions for the greater good of South Africa.