Election results trickle in after wide-open vote

30 May 2024 - 07:41
By Reuters
The first results are trickling in.
Image: IEC The first results are trickling in.

First results from Wednesday's general election were trickling in early on Thursday after a late voting surge kept many polling stations open with snaking queues late into the night.

The ANC was on 43.2% of the vote after 5.5% of polling stations reported results, the election commission said.

The biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, was on 27.3% of the vote, and Economic Freedom Fighters in third place, with 7.5%, the early results also showed.

Earlier, by 7am on Thursday, with fewer than 1% of more than 23,000 polling stations processed, the ANC's vote share was about 54%, with the DA second on about 20% and the EFF on 8%. Former president Jacob Zuma's new MK Party was fourth on roughly 5%.

Analysts say they can start making useful predictions once results from 5% of polling stations have been released.

The chief electoral officer told reporters at a results centre in Midrand on Wednesday that voter turnout was likely higher than in 2019, when 66% of registered voters cast ballots.

More than 27-million people were registered to vote in this year's election.

By law the election commission has seven days to release full provisional results, but elections officials have said they are planning for a Sunday announcement.

The ANC has won national elections held every five years since South Africa's historic 1994 vote when Nelson Mandela was its leader, but its support has declined because of disillusionment over issues like high unemployment and crime, frequent power blackouts and corruption.

Voters are electing provincial assemblies in each of the country's nine provinces, and a new national parliament which will then choose the next president.

The ANC is still on course to get the most votes, meaning its leader President Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to remain in office.