The ANC scraped through to take the win in SA's richest province Gauteng in the May 8 election, allowing it to retain control of the economic hub even as opposition parties manage its biggest cities.
The ruling party won 50.2% support in Gauteng, giving it command of eight of the country’s nine provinces as well as the national parliament. The Democratic Alliance kept control of the Western Cape.
Getting less than half the vote in Gauteng would have meant the ANC being forced into seeking an alliance with the opposition to lead the provincial government. While it may still need help of an opposition group to govern easier, the result means it won’t need to form a coalition with a bigger party such as the radical Economic Freedom Fighters. That could have meant concessions on national government policy in return for its support.
Gauteng makes up a third of South Africa’s gross domestic product and was a key target for the DA. It linked up with the EFF and other smaller parties to take control of Johannesburg, the country’s biggest city and financial center, and the capital, Pretoria, in municipal elections three years ago.
The DA won 27.5% support in the province and the EFF at 14.7%. The Freedom Front Plus, Inkatha Freedom Party and African Christian Democratic Party should also have representation in the regional parliament.
The ANC led the national vote at 57.5% with only one voting district still outstanding. While this would be the party’s worst performance on national level since the first all-race election in 1994, it has clawed back support under President Cyril Ramaphosa after dropping to an all-time low of 54.5% in a municipal vote three years ago when some people boycotted the ballot after allegations of corruption under former President Jacob Zuma started emerging.
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