South Africa: Democratic Elections

Extracted from: LODGE, T 2002, "South Africa" IN Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa (2002), edited by Tom Lodge, Denis Kadima and David Pottie, EISA, 296-297.

In the April 1994 general elections, the ANC won 252 seats in the National Assembly after obtaining a 62.65% share of the vote (see 1994 National Assembly results). Altogether, more than 19.5 million people voted through an extremely liberal dispensation which accorded the ballot to all permanent residents and citizens. Six other parties won national representation in the 400 hundred member House of Assembly: the National Party (82 seats), the Inkatha Federal Party, the former governing party of the KwaZulu homeland (43 seats), the Freedom Front, a new Afrikaner "self determinist" group (9 seats), the Democratic (formerly Progressive) Party (7 seats), the Pan-Africanist Congress (5 seats) and the African Christian Democratic Party (2 seats). The ANC won seven out of the 9 regional elections but had to concede executive majorities to the National Party in the Western Cape and to Inkatha in KwaZulu Natal (see 1994 Provincial Legislature Results for details). In the Western Cape, the National Party succeeded in winning a majority of coloured votes. National Party and Inkatha politicians held office with ANC ministers in a Government of National Unity until the National Party's withdrawal from the coalition in 1996. The National Party's abdication was prompted by its leaders' perception that they had failed to influence government policy. In particular they were displeased with their inability to secure permanent power-sharing arrangements in the 1996 Constitution.