In South Africa, a Bruising Local Election Defeat Chastens the ANC

South Africa’s president and head of the ruling African National Congress party, President, Cyril Ramaphosa during a ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021
South Africa’s president and head of the ruling African National Congress party, President, Cyril Ramaphosa during a ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021
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For South Africa’s long-ruling African National Congress party, the outcome of local elections on Nov. 1 was a predictable disaster. The polls took place against a troubled backdrop for the ANC, which has struggled through a perfect storm of challenges and missteps this year: a lack of tangible economic progress, poor public service delivery, chronic power shortages, the worst violent unrest since 1994 and seemingly endless allegations of corruption—all unfolding amid a global pandemic that caused South Africa’s largest economic contraction in a century. All of this virtually guaranteed the party would face a backlash at the ballot box. When the votes were […]

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