Friday, 30 September 2016

South Africa's Surprising Maturity

South Africa has had nationwide local government elections - these have passed off peacefully and with nearly 80% of the votes counted the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says voter turnout stood at about 58% of eligible voters - slightly more than the previous municipal elections in 2011.

ANC Stay In Power But Not Everywhere ..... But Peacefully

More importantly the vote was peaceful and there was even enough space for the IEC boss Mosotho Moepya, to appeal for patience, as people waited for final results, saying his team wanted to make sure there was "due diligence and accuracy”. Mr Moepya also thanked over 200,000 election officials for their work, as well South Africans for voting peacefully and passionately.

This event, which would be considered normal in Europe or North America is actually remarkable in Africa (North or South), particularly as the ruling ANC party did not perform as well as on previous occasions ... there were even early suggestions that it was losing in some areas (although retaining an overall lead) ... normally in Africa the start of riots as fraud is suspected or attempted.

With more than 60% of ballots counted in the key South Africans municipality of Nelson Mandela Bay, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) had a significant lead at 54% with the African National Congress (ANC) trailing behind at 36%. The two other big cities making headlines in this high stakes race - Pretoria and Johannesburg - saw the two major parties running neck and neck with the ANC eventually losing its majority in both cities. Still its remarkable that it lost votes to the Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters, and there was no violence.

Zimbabwe Showing Unrest ....

Compare and contrast with the unravelling in neighbouring Zimbabwe where not only are there normal protests at the handling of the economy but the party cadres aka 'War Veterans' (many of whom weren't born when the 'war' was being fought), are also in turmoil. President Robert Mugabe has expelled four senior war veterans from Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party after they issued a statement withdrawing their support for the President.

So congratulations to all South Africans for giving an example to the rest of the continent on how to mature a democracy .....


  1. It's strange that in SA democractic accountability has taken hold but not next door in Zimbawe. Sadly corruption has taken hold equally in both countries. It's just the outcomes whn caught with your fingers in the till that are different.

    1. Your right. Corruption has taken a firm grip amongst the ANC politicians and civil servants. Thanks for the comment.


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