July 13, 2024

(Bloomberg) — South Africa’s ruling party looks set to lose overall control of the country’s most populous province in next year’s elections, a survey found.

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The African National Congress’ share of the vote for leaders in KwaZulu—Natal would fall to 40% from 54.2% in the last vote, assuming an unchanged 66% turnout, the Social Research Foundation survey sent to Bloomberg showed. The Inkatha Freedom Party would boost its support to 26% from 16.3%, while the Democratic Alliance would get 18%, up from 13.9%. The Economic Freedom Fighter’s share would decline to 6% from 9.7%.

Losing control of KwaZulu-Natal, a province where the IFP and DA are already working together, would be a major blow for the ANC. Its majority in Gauteng, the second-most populous province, is also under threat and some surveys suggest it may lose its national majority for the first time since taking power in 1994. The ANC currently controls eight of South Africa’s nine provinces.

“The question that arises is what will the deal be to govern KwaZulu-Natal?” said Frans Cronje, chairman of the SRF, a think tank that conducts opinion polls. “That deal will be instructive in shaping any national deal.”

The survey canvassed 2,434 registered voters between Aug. 15 and Sept. 18 and had a 3% margin of error.

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