South Africa’s ANC Shrugs Off Drop in Support: Election Update

(Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s electoral authorities are counting the ballots cast in Wednesday’s general elections. The crucial question is whether the ruling African National Congress will garner enough support to allow President Cyril Ramaphosa to implement economic reforms.

Here are the latest developments, updated throughout the day. (Time-stamps are local time in Johannesburg.)

Key Developments

  • With 57% of ballots counted, ANC has 56.9% of national vote
  • Electoral authorities will declare 90% of results Thursday
  • CSIR projection race to control Gauteng province is very close

Latest Think-Tank Projection Sees ANC at 57.7% (6:17 p.m.)

The Council for Scientific & Industrial Research and the state broadcaster are projecting that the ANC will obtain 57.7% of the vote, with the main opposition Democratic Alliance set to garner 20.8% and the populist Economic Freedom Fighters 10.3%.

An opinion poll conducted by the South African Institute of Race Relations last week showed the ANC would get 53% to 54% of the national vote. An Ipsos survey in April predicted the party will get 61% of the vote.

Good Party Welcomes Count, Others Want Rerun (5:56 p.m.)

Patricia de Lille, the former mayor of Cape Town who broke away from the DA to form the Good party, said she’s happy with the count progress so far. Good is on track to win at least two seats in the 400 seat-National Assembly.

Several other small parties, including Black Land First and the African Transformation Movement, are crying foul, saying that a number of irregularities, including that a number of people voted twice, meant the contest wasn’t free or fair. They’ve called for an investigation and a rerun of the elections.

Rand Reflects Expected Outcome: Bishop (5:47 p.m.)

The South African currency has been “fairly stagnant” as election results have streamed in, reflecting an outcome that was largely expected given recent opinion polls, Investec Chief Economic Annabel Bishop said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

Going forward, “we need to see substantial inflows into the domestic markets that would cause the currency to strengthen appreciably,” Bishop said. Structural reforms needed to boost confidence, “specifically growth-enhancing reforms that actually deliver faster economic growth,” as well as a “substantial improvement in governance,” she said.

Vote Result May ‘Significantly’ Boost Confidence (4:32 p.m.)

“The overall outcome so far of the 2019 elections has the potential, if present trends continue and policy promises are kept, to significantly lift business and investor confidence from their present low levels,” said Raymond Parsons, a professor at the North West University’s School of Business and Governance.

A key test for the incoming government will be whether it selects a “credible and streamlined cabinet that also enjoys the confidence of business and the markets,” Parsons said.

Latest CSIR Projection Puts ANC at 57.5% (2:59 p.m.)

The CSIR and the state broadcaster have updated their projections for national results. They put the ANC at 57.5%, the DA at 21.1% and the EFF at 10.1%. The prediction also shows that the ANC will garner 52.8% in Gauteng province, enabling it to retain control of the economic hub.

Vote Results Point to Stability: Efficient’s Roodt (1:08 p.m.)

“The political arena in South Africa is going to look pretty much the same as it did before the elections,” Efficient Group Chief Economist Dawie Roodt said in an interview. “Of course, there are some significant changes -- the ANC is a little bit down and some other parties are a little bit up but the reality is that not much is going to change in these elections. That is the best possible scenario for the financial markets.”

Smaller Parties Are Getting Hammered (12:40 p.m.)

The election was always going to be dominated by the ANC, the DA and the EFF, but most of the smaller parties are taking a pasting. With 5.2 million votes counted, Independent Electoral Commission figures show 35 of the 48 parties that contested the national election have polled fewer than 10,000 votes. That means they’re unlikely to secure a single seat in parliament.

ANC Unconcerned About Likely Decline in Support (11:41 a.m.)

ANC Chairman Gwede Mantashe said his party will still be able to govern on its own nationally and isn’t concerned that its support is likely to decline from the 62.2% it won in the 2014 elections.

Speaking to reporters in the capital, Pretoria, Mantashe also fobbed off concerns raised by some opposition parties that a shortage of ballot papers at some voting stations and other irregularities may have compromised the integrity of the vote. The Independent Electoral Commission is a professional body and must be give the space to do its work, he said.

ANC May Win 57.3% of Vote: CSIR Projection (11:13 a.m.)

The ANC is set to win 57.3% of the national vote, with the Democratic Alliance set to obtain 21.2% and the Economic Freedom Fighters 9.7%, according to projections from the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research and the state broadcaster.

The ANC is in danger of losing its majority in the central Gauteng province, the projections showed.

Democratic Alliance to Win Western Cape: News24 (08:24 a.m.)

The party will secure about 55% of the vote in Western Cape province, according to the Cape Town-based News24 website, which cited projections based on partial results from the Independent Electoral Commission. The race in Gauteng province, is too close to call, it said.

Get More

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  • Why Ramaphosa Needs Decisive Win in South Africa Vote: QuickTake
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  • Victory Margin Key as Stock Traders Ready for S. Africa Vote

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