South Africa To Hold National Elections May 29


South Africa will hold elections on May 29, President Cyril Ramaphosa said, setting the stage for a contest in which his ruling party faces the biggest threat to its national majority since coming to power three decades ago.

A proclamation to declare the date will be issued in due course, Ramaphosa said in a statement on Tuesday. The announcement came the day before Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana presents his annual budget.

Almost 370 parties are eligible to participate in the election, which will be the first in which independent candidates can compete for national and provincial office, after parliament amended the electoral laws.

The vote is taking place 30 years after Nelson Mandela became the first leader of the nation’s democratic government at the end of White-minority rule. Since then, support for the African National Congress party has waned as the government fails to address record power outages, collapsing infrastructure and rampant crime and corruption.

South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, and is ranked by the Thomas Piketty-backed World Inequality Lab as the most unequal country in the world for which data is available. Opinion polls suggest the ANC may win less than half the vote, forcing it to rely on smaller rivals to continue governing Africa’s most-industrialized nation.

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