Pretoria, Aug 6 (IANS) South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party has been defeated by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) in local municipal polls in the capital Pretoria.
With counting almost over on Saturday, the DA has 43 per cent of the vote compared with the ANC’s 41 per cent in Tshwane, the municipality that includes Pretoria, the BBC reported.
The DA will need to form a coalition in order to secure control.
The two major parties are also locked in a tight race to control the country’s largest city, Johannesburg.
The ANC has also lost Nelson Mandela Bay, which includes the city of Port Elizabeth and has a rich history of anti-apartheid struggle, in the Eastern Cape to the DA.
The ANC has won more than 60 per cent of the vote in every election since Nelson Mandela became the first democratically elected President of South Africa on May 10, 1994, the BBC noted.
The DA has won 93 seats while the ANC is second with 89 seats in the 214-seat Pretoria-area municipal council.
According to analysts, these local elections were being seen as an indication of the mid-term popularity of President Jacob Zuma, the BBC said.
The next general elections are due in 2019 but Zuma cannot stand for a third term as president.