by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
PRETORIA – AFTER emerging victorious in last week’s general elections, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) will now be under immense scrutiny to deliver on its election campaign pledges, particularly addressing corruption, which is attributed to its decreasing its voters share from the previous polls.
Praised for renewing itself under the current president, Cyril Ramaphosa, the governing party is also set to be burdened with transforming the economy, particularly around skewed land ownership, which the party promised to address if re-elected.
The revolutionary party received 57,5 percent (230 seats) of the vote (400 parliamentary) seats while the Democratic Alliance (DA) retained its position as the official opposition, coming a distant second with 20,7 percent (84 seats).
The third largest party, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), accumulating an improved 10,79 percent (44 percent).
ANC had secured over 62 percent in the 2014 poll, with the reduction of its support base between then and the just-concluded poll blamed on corruption and sloth in reforms.
Corruption plagued the ANC particularly under former president Jacob Zuma, who was forced to resign in 2018.
The Black Business Council (BBC) urged the ruling party to intensify the application and implementation of socio-economic transformation policies that would mirror the current state of affairs sidelining the majority blacks.
“Our country’s democratic walk is a testament that we have managed to eradicate the fragments of apartheid. However, we face a new political adversary in corruption, malfeasance and state capture of majority black citizens,” said BBC President, Sandile Zungu.
He pledged the BBC’s commitment to assist the new government to ensure the economic participation and transformation of all citizens in the mainstream economy.
“This important mandate should also be used to further transform and grow the economy of South Africa,” Zungu said.
ANC supporters are excited that while the figures indicated a decline in ANC’s share, the party had improved on its performance from the municipal elections held in 2016.
“People are already showing confidence again in the revolutionary movement,” said ANC activist, Refilwe Modise, in an interview with CAJ News.
ANC earned about 54 percent of the municipal polls held in 2016.
Ramaphosa, in an address to party faithfuls in Johannesburg while reacting to the poll outcome, pledged to implement the people’s aspirations.
“Our people are indeed the true custodians of our country’s democracy and they have chosen the people (ANC) to champion their dreams and aspirations. These elections were a resounding expression of the will of the people of South Africa,” Ramaphosa said.
Ruling parties in the region had wished the ANC well ahead of the elections.
Among these are the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).
Simon Khaya-Moyo, ZANU-PF spokesperson, congratulated the ANC, the people of South Africa, the Independent Electoral Commission and all the political parties for a free, fair, transparent and credible election.
“The voting itself, on May 8, and the voting environment was peaceful, orderly, well organised and all polling stations opened on time,” Khaya-Moyo said.
The spotlight now shifts to other Southern African nations preparing for elections later this year.
These are Malawi next week as well as Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia all in October.
– CAJ News