ANC happy with its mandate

The African National Congress was happy with its performance in the election despite missing a two-thirds majority by a whisker, the party said as the final vote count lit up the results board at the IEC Centre in Pretoria on Saturday.

Spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi, said the party did not need the majority and never said it wanted one.

“We have always been very clear that we wanted a decisive win ... the ANC never called for a two-thirds majority, we are quite happy with the mandate the people have given us,” he said from the centre after IEC chief electoral officer Pansy Tlakula announced that the vote count had been completed.

After a fierce battle at the polls, with the ANC rolling out its strongest election machinery yet, the party is set to govern South Africa for a further five years.

It received a 65,90% win of the 17 680 729 valid votes cast.

The Democratic Alliance, the official opposition party, received a 16,66% of votes with 2 945 829 South Africans backing the party.

Newcomer Congress of the People received 7,42% with 1 311 027 votes.

The emergence of Cope, a party headed by former ANC chairperson Terror Lekota and former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa—after the sacking of former president Thabo Mbeki—had “galvanised” the ANC.

It spent about R200-million on its election campaign, headed by national executive committee member Fikile Mbalulu, placing party president Jacob Zuma at the centre of it.

Mnisi said the party would now wait for the parliamentary processes, which will see Zuma placed in the presidency and his Cabinet selected.

Zuma and his deputy, President Kgalema Motlanthe, will visit the result centre later on Saturday when IEC chairperson Brigalia Bam is
expected to formally announce the results.

The number of seats in Parliament which the ANC receives in relation to its win would also be announced by Bam.

Rand firms
The rand firmed well over 2% against the dollar to a new six-and-a-half high late on Friday, aided by a strong euro and higher stocks as well as the smooth election.

Zuma (67) has also assured investors he will not be dropping policies they are comfortable with, even though his trade union allies want more help for the poor.

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, a market favourite, also looks set to stay at a time when South Africa faces its first recession in 17 years.
- Reuters, Sapa

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