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South Africa’s ANC party set to win national vote, results show

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to cut unemployment and clean up corruption within the ANC party [File: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters]

President Ramaphosa’s ruling African National Congress party scoops majority support as vote counting draws to a close.

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party is on course to win parliamentary elections with almost all votes counted, despite losing support amid widespread anger over corruption and high unemployment.

Results announced by South Africa’s electoral commission on Friday said the ANC, headed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, had won 57.7 percent of the vote during Wednesday’s poll with more than 96 percent of votes counted. The party, which has been in power since 1994, won 62 percent support at the last general election in 2014.

Wednesday’s performance put the ANC well ahead of its nearest rivals the main opposition Democratic Alliance party, who won 20 percent of the vote, according to the electoral commission’s figures.

The Economic Freedom Fighters, founded six years ago by former ANC youth leader Julius Malema, was in third place with 10.51 percent.

In South Africa, the president and parliament are not elected directly. The number of votes won by each party determines how many representatives are sent to the national 400-seat legislature. The president of the country is the leader of the party that gets the most votes.