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On 7 May 2014, South Africa held its fifth national and provincial elections since the end of Apartheid. The African National Congress (ANC) triumphed once again, winning 62.15% of the vote – down 3.75% on its tally in 2009. The Democratic Alliance (DA) came second with 22.13%. – up 7.57% on 2009. But while there was no big opposition breakthrough, the ruling party cannot rest on its laurels – not least in Gauteng Province, the country's economic power-house, where its vote fell by over 10% to 53.59%. Debate also continues about creating a labour party to the left of the ANC.

By any realistic standard, the DA made good progress in these elections. There is still some dispute about how it did in terms of black support, with some sources saying it managed only 6%, while the DA has claimed it was 20%. But it is yet to dispel the public perception that it is not a party for the black majority. The Economic Freedom Fighters performed well at the first attempt, given its formation in 2013. It came second in Limpopo Province. But the often quixotic and populist leadership of Julius Malema undoubtedly alienated some potential supporters.


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