South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) converged Sunday in Mangaung, Free State province to mark its 111th anniversary with celebrations.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was re-elected as the ANC party leader at a national conference in December last year arrived at the venue where the organisation was originally founded in 1912.
The ANC is the oldest liberation movement against colonialism in Africa and led South Africa’s transition from white minority rule to democracy.
After spending 27 years in prison alongside other ANC leaders for their anti-apartheid activities, its leader and struggle icon, Nelson Mandela, became the country’s first democratically elected president in 1994.
The ANC has seen a decline in electoral support due to worsening security, rise in unemployment, failure to provide basic services to poor communities and economic decline.
The wide-ranging revelations of corruption among party leaders and government officials occasioned by the revelations from its anti-graft agencies and its judiciary has been damning.
South Africa is also facing an electricity crisis which has at times led to households and businesses experiencing power blackouts for more than eight hours daily.
In 1994, the ANC got just over 62% of the national vote, securing a majority of seats in the country’s first democratic parliament.
However, by 2019 the party’s support had declined to 53% of the national vote, its worst ever electoral performance since it came into power in 1994.
It has also lost political control of major cities including Johannesburg; Tshwane, which includes the capital Pretoria; and Nelson Mandela Bay.
It is expected to face a tough national election in 2024, with analysts and pollsters suggesting it will struggle to get more than 50% of the national vote.
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