Early voting begins in South African elections that could spell end of ANC dominance

Early voting began in South Africa's general election Monday, as those who must work on polling day or who have special needs were given a chance to cast their ballots in a poll that could see the end of the political dominance of the African National Congress (ANC), 30 years after Nelson Mandela led it into power.

Around 1.6 million out of the 27.6 million-strong electorate were allowed to cast their ballots early, according to South Africa's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Election agents will visit 624,000 people with mobility issues at home, while essential workers will attend polling stations two days earlier than the general populace.

On Wednesday, the rest of the country will be called to vote in South Africa's sixth general election, three decades after the advent of democracy in 1994.

The vote could prove a historic turning point if, as opinion polls predict, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) loses its absolute parliamentary majority for the first time.

At no point since world media beamed iconic images of Black South African voters queueing to cast ballots 30 years ago for the first time following the end of white-minority rule has the ANC looked so likely to lose its parliamentary majority.

Monday's early voting followed a weekend of final campaigning by South Africa's four main political parties.

'We will do more and we will do better'

“Democrats, friends, are you ready for change?” Steenhuisen said. The crowd shouted back “Yes!”


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