Alexa

Local SAfrican polls have national implications

 In this hand out photo released Monday May 16, 2011 by the Mandela family,  Former South African President Nelson Mandela is flanked by his daughter ...
 In this photo supllied by Government Communications and Information Services (GCIS) former South African President Nelson Mandela, after casting his ...
 In this photo provided  by the  Government Communications and Information Services (GCIS) former South African President Nelson Mandela, right, casts...
 In this photo supllied by Government Communications and Information Services (GCIS) former South African President Nelson Mandela, after casting his ...

South Africa Mandela

In this hand out photo released Monday May 16, 2011 by the Mandela family, Former South African President Nelson Mandela is flanked by his daughter ...

South Africa Mandela

In this photo supllied by Government Communications and Information Services (GCIS) former South African President Nelson Mandela, after casting his ...

South Africa Mandela

In this photo provided by the Government Communications and Information Services (GCIS) former South African President Nelson Mandela, right, casts...

South Africa Mandela

In this photo supllied by Government Communications and Information Services (GCIS) former South African President Nelson Mandela, after casting his ...

South Africans were voting across the country Wednesday in local elections that have national implications.
The African National Congress, which governs at the national level, is expected to win in most municipalities, though the party has seen its popularity slip amid complaints it's riddled by corruption and failing to keep up with the demand for houses, schools, running water and other basics.
That could be an opportunity for the main opposition Democratic Alliance, which has its roots in a white liberal anti-apartheid party, and has been hobbled by an inability to attract black voters.
Already, a chastened ANC has made changes, giving local communities more of a say in picking candidates. President Jacob Zuma also has promised that his national government will ensure that local governments perform.
The change in how candidates are chosen may have backfired, with complaints that the local party bosses ignored the people's will. Zuma pleaded with supporters to vote for the ANC anyway, saying disputes over candidates could be sorted out later, even if that meant holding new elections in some areas.
Some 23 million voters were registered at 20,000 polling stations across this country of 50 million people. After 12 hours of voting Wednesday, results were expected by the weekend.
Political analyst Phillip de Wet said parties will be watching the results closely to learn lessons for policy making and for the next national elections, in 2014.
"What all of us will be watching is the ANC and the DA numbers," he said.
De Wet said the focus on delivery and local issues was a sign of maturity 17 years after apartheid ended with the first multiracial national vote. But past divisions _ and victories _ were prominent in the campaign, with ANC supporters pointing to the DA's white leaders and painting theirs as the party of anti-apartheid heroes.
Zuma met on the eve of the vote with Nelson Manuela, who at 92 is retired from public life but still an iconic figure. Zuma told reporters later that Mandela, who voted early as the elderly are able to do in South Africa, voted ANC and saw the local elections as important.
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AP's Ed Brown contributed to this report.


Updated : 2020-11-30 01:10 GMT+08:00