South Africa’s ANC re-elected to smaller majority as voters demand new land reform policies

South Africa’s ANC re-elected to smaller majority as voters demand new land reform policies

Election results will be released in South Africa today, with the ruling African National Congress expected to clinch victory despite

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Photo: Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Election results will be released in South Africa today, with the ruling African National Congress expected to clinch victory despite its waning popularity.

The ANC will likely secure around 57% percent of the vote—down from its 62.2% win in 2014—making it the smallest margin of victory in the party’s history. The Democratic Alliance, which is strongly backed by white South Africans, will likely win 22% of the vote.

Land reform has been central to this election, with President Cyril Ramaphosa pledging to amend the constitution to allow for controversial land reforms that give poor black South Africans land without compensating its white owners. Despite comprising less than 10% of the population, white South Africans own more than 70% of the country’s land. Resisting the proposal, the Democratic Alliance argues for land reform that avoids a land grab.

As seen in Zimbabwe, redistributing land to black South Africans untrained in agriculture may further cripple South Africa struggling economy where 27% of the population are unemployed. The county’s GDP only grew by 0.8% in 2018 and is forecasted for 1.5% in 2019.

Expect President Ramaphosa to try to implement his land reform. If it passes, expect South Africa’s economic challenges to deepen, further dissuading foreign investor confidence.

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