South Africa: The 1999 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.

The second general elections were held in June 1999. In comparison to the 1994 elections, the franchise was confined to citizens and furthermore restricted to those in possession of modern identity documents with bar-coded computer numbers. As a consequence participation was considerably lower; nearly 16 million voters represented a turn out of 68% of the voting age population. The ANC again obtained a large majority, with its 66,36% of the vote bringing it just short of the two-thirds share it would need to unilaterally alter the Constitution (see 1999 National Assembly votes and seats by party for more details). In this second Parliament, opposition representation was divided between 12 parties, of which the Democrats with their 38 seats had leading status. Inkatha retained its Cabinet representation in a voluntary coalition with the ANC and once again dominated the executive in the KwaZulu Natal regional administration. The Western Cape remained under National Party control, with Democrats as junior partners, in a coalition necessitated by the failure of any party to win an outright majority.