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Opposition wins South African capital city’s mayoral job

Published on November 23, 2021

South Africa’s main opposition party held onto the job of mayor of capital Pretoria on Tuesday, a day after the ruling ANC lost control of Johannesburg, in a municipal election drubbing President Cyril Ramaphosa described as “a big lesson”.

The Democratic Alliance’s Randall Williams was elected unopposed as mayor of Pretoria.

On Monday councillors elected another DA candidate Mpho Phalatse as mayor of the country’s economic hub and largest city Johannesburg.

Local elections to choose municipal councillors on November 1 saw the African National Congress (ANC) suffer its worst showing at the ballot box since the country’s first multi-racial polls in 1994, which marked the end of apartheid.

The ANC garnered only 46 percent of the votes cast nationwide in the local municipal elections.

“It is disappointing,” Ramaphosa said at a joint news conference he hosted with visiting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“This for us is a big setback, but also it is also a big lesson,” he said. “What is unfolding is how democracy works”.

But Kenyatta lauded the development as a sign of “mature” democracy.

“As South Africans, you should be very proud and happy with yourselves that you have a mature democracy. What you see here is not very common in many other parts of the world,” Kenyatta said on a three-day working visit to South Africa.

The DA has been the country’s largest opposition party for nearly two decades.