South Africa goes to polls

Starting Today, May 8, South Africans have begun the process of electing the next president and members of parliament for another five years. These elections are pivotal to the country’s turn around after years of corruption and economic tailspin.

This morning about 26.8 million registered voters went out to cast ballots at 22,925 polling stations. Early results will emerge on Thursday while the official winner will be declared on Saturday, 11 May.

2014 could be the last time the ruling African National Congress (ANC) wins an overall majority as the party has already been losing supporters and unless the party renews itself and starts delivering on its promises it is unlikely that it will win the national elections, because the party that wins most seats in parliament selects the president, who will be sworn in on May 25.

The ANC has ruled for more than two decades but in recent times, the party’s popularity has been dropping and the public confidence in the party has been below par but for the confidence, the people have in the president, Cyril Ramaphosa. This loss of party confidence is due to various corruption scandals and economic hardship that has trailed the country under and after former president Jacob Zuma who is a member of the ANC.

The party is likely to win again and to ensure that happens Ramaphosa, alongside his party members, as a means to restore confidence of the people, promised to fight corruption and reinvigorate the economy. “We are determined that those found guilty of corruption or involvement in state capture will not be allowed to occupy positions of responsibility, either in the ANC, in parliament or in government, Ramaphosa stated during the Monday ANC rally.”

Voter turnout has been predicted at around 70 percent though an estimated six million youths aged below 30 have not registered to vote. The are many parties in the race, however, the main contenders are the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Democratic Alliance (DA).