First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We write for you

It’s a public service and we refuse to erect a paywall and force you to pay for truth. Instead, we ask (nicely and often) that those of you who can afford to, become a Maverick Insider and help with whatever you can. In order for truth not to become a thing of the past, we need to keep going.

Currently, 18,000 (or less than 0.3%) of our brave and generous readers are members; which says a lot about their characters and commitment to our country. These people are paying for a free service in order to keep it free for everyone.

They are the true South AfriCANs.(Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.)

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Gauteng cliffhanger: ANC hovers just below 50%, but fin...

South Africa


Gauteng cliffhanger: ANC hovers just below 50%, but final count yet to come

ANC flags at the National Results Operation Center (ROC) in Pretoria on Friday 10 May 2019. Photo: Leila Dougan

The ANC dipped under 50% of the vote in Gauteng as results continued to trickle in on Friday. Opposition parties were cautiously watching the results as the governing party was still tipped to retain the province.

The ANC believes it can still secure a majority in Gauteng despite its vote dropping below 50% on Friday in the most contested province in the 2019 elections.

Journalists hurriedly shared the update at the IEC’s national results centre in Tshwane as results reflected the ANC losing its majority for the first time, which would be the story of the elections if the ANC was forced to form a coalition government in the country’s most populated province.

At the time of writing, the ANC had won 49.61% of votes in Gauteng with 65.68% of voting districts captured. But votes in a number of the party’s strongholds were yet to come in and pollsters tipped that the ANC would still nudge over 50%.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe remained calm while opposition parties watched the results carefully.

Your bigger townships, your metros are still to come through. Soweto, Soshanguve, Temba in Hammanskraal, Katlehong in the East Rand, those areas are still yet to be counted. It is expected that as and when they come through we should start expecting to see a serious shift of the numbers. The same goes to KwaZulu-Natal,” said Mabe.

We came to these elections at the results operations centre maintaining high levels of confidence. You have seen yourself that every time there’s a significant number deposited into the count there’s a significant rise in the numbers.”

At the provincial results centre, the ANC’s Ezra Letsoalo agreed. “We know that Soweto has not been fully counted and a number of townships in Tshwane as well as Ekurhuleni,” he said.

We know that as soon as those are uploaded there will be a significant increase.”

DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said it was too early to tell whether the ANC would win a majority in the province.

I think what we’ve seen this morning, especially in the last hour with the ANC coming under 50%, shows again the complexity of trying to figure out Gauteng. Again it’s a fascinating turnaround. If you spoke to them last night they were very hopeful that as we go late into the night there will be an abrupt rise but now we’re seeing anything that brings them under 50% is a very great result for the opposition across the board because an ANC under 50% would be a dismal failure for them.”

Malatsi continued: “It’s encouraging when you really start seeing the shift happening now because the next for hours are going to be critical in determining the future of Gauteng.”

At 12pm on Friday, Intellidex and Daily Maverickanalyst Peter Attard Montalto still predicted the ANC would win 50.45% of the provincial vote. The latest update from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) predicted the ANC would take 52.97% of the vote, but with small margins of error in both predictions, the result could be slightly different.

At the time of writing, the DA had won 28.29% of the votes captured in Gauteng and the EFF 14.07%.

IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the ANC’s decline from 53.59% in 2014 was part of a systemic downturn in support for the party.

This trajectory began in 2016 if you look at the fact that Johannesburg, Tshwane and the City of Johannesburg in this province were hung. It was clear then that the politics had changed and it sets into motion further the new trajectory of the country that the ANC will not hit 60% of the national vote and that is set to continue in 2021 and 2024 until the country is slowly inching towards coalition politics,” said Hlengwa.

ACDP President Kenneth Meshoe echoed other opposition parties hoping the ANC would fall below 50% in Gauteng.

I hope that will be the case because when we have a coalition in Gauteng the arrogance that they normally show will be minimal. So I think what would be best for Gauteng is a coalition,” he said. DM

Additional reporting by Lelethu Tonisi and Ayanda Mthethwa


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted