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South Africa’s ANC set to win two-thirds majority: poll

Published on 23/03/2014

South Africa's ANC looks set to win a two-thirds majority in May elections, according to an opinion poll published Sunday that appears to fly in the face of public perceptions about its performance.

The party that has ruled South Africa since the first post-apartheid elections in 1994 has been hit by corruption scandals and complaints that it has not done enough to address deep poverty and inequality in the country.

The poll by the Ipsos agency for the Sunday Times newspaper said the African National Congress would win 66.1 percent of votes in the May 7 election, up slightly from 65.9 percent in 2009.

The survey was carried out before the publication last week of a scathing ombudsman report which ruled that multi-million-dollar state-funded renovations to President Jacob Zuma’s private home were unlawful.

The main opposition Democratic Alliance, which has launched a criminal corruption case against Zuma over the $23-million upgrades, would win 22.9 percent, the poll found.

That would represent an increase over the 16.6 garnered in 2009 but is well below the 30 percent it is hoping for.

The newly founded Economic Freedom Fighters, led by the former head of the ANC’s youth league Julius Malema, would emerge as the third party in parliament with 3.7 percent, Ipsos said.

The poll, which was conducted among 2,222 people from February 20 to March 11, contradicts analyst estimates that the ANC’s majority would be cut to between 55 and 60 percent.