The ANC has won the 2019 general elections by 57% of the votes, followed by the DA with 20.77% and the EFF with 10.77%, the Independent Electoral Commission announced on Saturday.
The elections on Wednesday were the fiercest the ruling ANC faced since gaining power 25 years ago.
In the run-up to the elections, political observers predicted a further decline of the ANC at the polls, with the SA Institute of Race Relations claiming that the ANC would fall to an all-time low of 53%.
The surprise package in this election was the Inkatha Freedom Party and the FF Plus, who now join the top five political parties in the National Assembly.
The IFP secured 14 seats, while the FF Plus got 10 seats.
The EFF almost doubled its number of seats in the National Assembly by gaining 44 seats, an increase from 25 seats in the fifth Parliament.
The ANC in Gauteng, meanwhile, clung to the province by 50.19%.
Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni told Inside Politic that the 50% would make it difficult for the ANC to govern the province and take decisions on key issues including the budget.
“Opposition parties will tie them down on things like budgets and any decision taken at committee level. The ANC can’t afford to have someone who is constantly sick. Before, they could afford to have three people absent. But there’s no more leg room for absenteeism,” said Fikeni.
Speaking at the IEC’s official announcement ceremony in Pretoria – attended by diplomats, observer missions and political representatives – the chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said the 2019 general elections were the most complex, highly contested and logistically demanding in SA’s history and tested “all of us like never before”.
And, despite allegations of multiple voting and a litany of voting irregularities in some areas, IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini said the 2019 elections were free and fair.
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa praised all South Africans who took part in the elections by exercising their democratic.
“Our people have spoken – and they have done so clearly and emphatically,” said Ramaphosa.
“They have voted for a united South Africa in which all may realise their potential. They have voted for a more equal society, free from poverty, hunger and want. They have voted for a country at peace with itself and the world.”President Ramaphosa applauds all political parties in SA for the role they played during the elections.
Ramaphosa told the nation he was deeply by the passing away of two elderly voters at voting stations on Wednesday.
“We send our sincere condolences to the families and friends of Ms Susan Mohanoua Matona from Vanderbijlpark in Sedibeng and Mr Dirk Henry Osche from Elandspoort in Tshwane,” said Ramaphosa.
“We must honour their memories by deepening our democratic culture and defending, with all we have, the right to vote.”
Ramaphosa said the 2019 general elections confirmed that
freedom does indeed reign in South Africa.
“It gives us the assurance that our people are the true custodians of our freedom and democracy. We pay tribute to the millions who went to the polls to choose the public representatives who will champion their collective interests and help them realise their shared dreams and common aspirations,” said Ramaphosa.
“Many of our people braved the rain and cold to cast the ballots that will determine the future of our country. In doing so, they reaffirmed the vibrancy of our democracy in an environment of diverse opinions. After months of campaigning, where political leaders of all persuasions had their say, this week, the people of South Africa have had their say. We salute the elderly for coming out in their large numbers to vote as they have done in every election since 1994.”
ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile said the ANC was humbled by the vote of confidence from South Africans who gave it the mandate to lead the country again.
ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile says his party is humbled by the vote of confidence from South Africans who gave it the mandate to lead the country again.”Thank you. We won’t let you down “.#SAElections2019 pic.twitter.com/W0fmd804No— Inside Politics (@InsidePolitics8) May 11, 2019
“Thank you. We won’t let you down,” said Mashatile.