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The ANC’s Record Electoral Defeat Bodes Ill for South Africa’s Economic Stability

MIN READNov 15, 2021 | 22:52 GMT

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (center) addresses supporters of his African National Congress (ANC) party during a rally ahead of local government elections in a township north of Pretoria on Oct. 15, 2021.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (center) addresses supporters of his African National Congress (ANC) party during a rally ahead of local government elections in a township north of Pretoria on Oct. 15, 2021.

(PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

Record electoral losses and widespread voter apathy will deepen rifts within South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) and further impede the party’s ability to impose economic reforms. The ANC, once the clear majority party, won just 46% of the vote in municipal elections on Nov. 1, marking its weakest performance since the party led South Africa out of the apartheid era in 1994. Much of the ANC’s loss can be attributed to low turnout, with only 47% of eligible voters casting ballots in the municipal elections. But opposition parties also capitalized on the ANC’s waning support to make electoral gains....

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