South Africa’s 2024 general elections saw the lowest voter turnout in its political history – Bonolo Makgale


A democracy practitioner and programme manager at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, Bonolo Makgale, believes that South Africa’s 2024 general elections recorded an extremely low voter turnout.

She said that numerous South African citizens failed to vote in the general elections, causing the African National Congress to lose the majority of its seats in parliament, forcing it to consider forming a national unity government.

After the declaration of the election results, in South Africa, the ruling African National Congress garnered only 40.18 percent of the of the votes.


The Democratic Alliance (DA), the main opposition party, polled the second-highest number of votes (21.81 percent), followed by the MK party (14.58 percent) and the EFF (9.52 percent).

According to the data available, 27.7 million South Africans registered to vote.

However, only 16.2 million ballots were cast on Election Day.

The statistic reflects a voter turnout of 58.64 percent, the lowest in South Africa’s 30-year democratic history.

Bonolo Makgale commented on this in an exclusive interview with Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5FM, arguing that while many voters did not vote, those who did went for alternative political parties other than the ANC.

This she attributed to the political party’s failure to keep pledges, as well as citizens’ inability to reap the benefits of democracy and the promises given to them by the ANC.

She further indicated that they have been observing this incremental decline of supporters of the ANC since the 2009 elections. 

“So the decline has been happening, but this time around, it really took the ANC a hard knock.

“One could argue that South Africans are tired of the ANC because the ANC has not been able to fulfil some of their promises that they made to South African citizens. South Africa’s have not been able to enjoy the dividend of democracy and promises that were made, and the fact that now, South Africans have decided to explore other viable alternatives—that’s one, but also, if you look at our voter turnout, most South Africans have decided not to vote.”

By: Rainbowradioonline.com/Ghana

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