South African ANC loses mayors in Johannesburg and Pretoria | Nation and world
JOHANNESBURG (AP) – South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, has lost control of Johannesburg and other major cities, following recent local elections.
The ANC won less than 50% of the vote in the municipal elections earlier this month, a blow to the party of Nelson Mandela, which has ruled the country since the fall of apartheid in 1994 and has seen its support wane. in successive elections.
The ANC compounded its problems by failing to form coalitions with smaller opposition parties, losing control of Johannesburg, the country’s largest city, as well as Ekurhuleni and the metropolitan area of ââTshwane, which includes the capital Pretoria.
The opposition Democratic Alliance party has succeeded in forming coalitions and now has mayors in these three cities in Gauteng Province, the economic center of South Africa.
The ANC is so divided by rivalries that it has not even put forward a candidate for mayor of Tshwane.
The ANC also risks losing control of the metropolitan area of ââeThekwini, its former stronghold which includes the city of Durban, where small opposition parties are expected to back the Democratic Alliance to form a coalition.
The ANC’s poor performance in municipal elections is widely seen as the result of voters’ growing disillusionment with the party over the poor delivery of basic services, crippling power cuts and numerous allegations of corruption against many. of its leaders. Its internal divisions are blamed for its inability to form government coalitions.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, leader of the ANC, called the loss of towns a “big setback”.
âAs the president of the ruling party, it is disappointing for the African National Congress, but this is how we have to accept the clear message from our people,â Ramaphosa said. âWe took care. We have listened and it is a big setback for us, but it is also a big lesson.
The ANC, however, took control of the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan area, which includes Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).
South Africa’s local elections are held every five years and determine the composition of municipal councils responsible for providing essential services such as water, waste disposal and sanitation. The councilors then elect the mayors.