South Africa is holding general elections to elect the new line up of the National Assembly, the national parliament. According to the latest results with nearly 50 percent of votes counted South Africa’s governing African National Congress had 62 percent of the vote. David Zounmenou, Senior Research Fellow at Conflicts Prevention and Risks Analysis Programme in South Africa, commented on the way the voting passed off and on whether these elections see any major changes for the government and for the country during his interview with VoR.

How did the voting pass off?

The voting has gone very well. We have very few incidents of violations in the country generally. The counting has been completed and now what is happening is that they are counting who is what and the primary results are put in the ANC National Congress. But the key question is whether the ANC will call the high mark as it had last time but we are not quite sure.

Only half the population has registered to vote. Did the turnout exceed the expectations?

I think it was quite impressive. Many people were raising concern about those who didn’t register. If you put those two numbers together, they actually outnumber the people who turned out to vote. There is a very serious need for political education and important of political participation in the country.

ANC party’s popularity has sunk since the last elections. What have been the major reasons for his fall in popularity?

I think since the end of Apartheid they are trying to make a democratic experiment. But there are also shortcomings. In the last elections they took away 7% from the party and currently the rise of economical freedom led by the leader of Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema is also likely to give the performance of the organization. Within the party there is concern about the current level of corruption.

Will these elections see any major changes for the government and for the country?

It is difficult to predict. To survive, the ANC has to listen to concerns and take them seriously and engage in transformation and respond to growing unemployment of the youth and serious social and economic challenges. The country has been witnessing strikes in the mining sector in the past months and it needs very consolidated response from the government. The social, political and economical should improve to maintain the loyalty of those who consider supporting the ANC.


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