South Africa: The 2014 National and Provincial Elections

Ulf Engel


On 7 May 2014, South Africa held its fifth national and provincial elections since the end of apartheid in 1994. Despite a degree of discontent, the ANC remained firmly in power, receiving 62.15 per cent of the vote. Frustration about non-delivery of services, autocratic tendencies within the ruling party and widespread corrupt practices did not translate into substantially more votes for opposition parties, except in the Western Cape and Gauteng regions (and a swing vote from COPE to DA in Northern Cape). However, voter mobilisation seems to be stagnating and ANC breakaway parties are not faring particularly well. Twenty years after the end of apartheid, popular discontent with the ANC government has expressed itself in voting apathy, particularly among the “born-free” generation. Just as in 2004 and 2009, non-voters remain the largest group in the South African electorate, outnumbering even the ANC.

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