General election in South Africa

The main players as voters go to the polls

An artwork created by South African artist Anton Kannemeyer depicting South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma (right) and his predecessor Thabo Mbeki at the Stevenson gallery in Cape Town, South Africa.  Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

An artwork created by South African artist Anton Kannemeyer depicting South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma (right) and his predecessor Thabo Mbeki at the Stevenson gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

 

African National Congress
Led by president Jacob Zuma, the ruling party won 65.9 per cent of the vote in the last general election, giving it 264 seats in parliament. However, analysts believe the former liberation movement could lose support in this election due to the numerous scandals it is linked to, and its poor performance over the past five years in government.

Democratic Alliance
Under the leadership of Helen Zille, the main opposition party, which positions itself as is pro-business, is seeking to expand its reach beyond the Western Cape province, where it has been in power since 2009. It has highlighted Gauteng province as a place in which it can genuinely challenge the ANC. The DA won 16.66 per cent of the vote and 67 parliamentary seats in the last general election.


Economic Freedom Fighters
The new kid on the block was set up by former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema following his expulsion from the ANC. The party is seeking to attract support with polices that critics say are populist and would ruin the country. Polls predict it could win up to 8 per cent of the vote on May 7th.

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