The 2019 election results are out, with the ANC winning by a smaller margin than expected and some unexpected and big changes in the opposition.

For the commercial property sector, the results have brought a sense of stability – for now. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the results and what they mean for the South African property market.

The ANC’s weakest showing yet

The ANC won the sixth national election since the end of apartheid with 57.6% of the vote. Although this gives the party a strong majority, it’s one of the worst showings for the ANC since 1994.

With low voter turnout and a drop in support, the ANC has been given a final chance to deliver on its promises. President Ramaphosa has no time to lose as he gets going on a busy government agenda.

Big changes in the opposition

South Africa’s opposition parties had mixed fortunes in the election. While the DA, with its message of unity and multiculturalism, lost votes, the EFF and VF+, which both emphasise the controversial land issue, increased their support.

  • The DA, which looked set to consolidate its gains in the 2016 municipal elections, failed to bring in the votes this year. The party received just over 20% of the vote nationally.
  • The EFF grew its support base this election, receiving almost 11% of the vote. The party, led by Julius Malema, campaigned on land expropriation and other radical measures that it says will help to narrow the gap between South Africa’s rich and poor.
  • Some DA voters may have shifted to the Freedom Front Plus (VF+), which campaigned heavily on the issues of property rights for farmers and minority rights, especially for Afrikaans-speaking people. The VF+ ended up with almost 2.4% of the vote, behind the IFP, which received 3.38%.

Cyril’s last chance?

With a clear majority but a bad showing at the polls, the ANC has been given a chance to redeem itself – and the party’s redeemer is Cyril Ramaphosa.

The President is now faced with the task of turning Eskom around, launching his industrialisation plan, and managing the land reform process diplomatically. If he succeeds in this difficult task, the economic outlook for SA could improve immensely.

Most analysts agree that despite the poor state of the ANC, Ramaphosa has the management experience and political know-how to get the job done, and it would seem that he has the mandate to do it.

A successful government means a successful economy and a prosperous commercial property sector. As President Ramaphosa gets to work, we will be watching his progress with cautious but genuine optimism.

If you feel inspired to invest in Cape Town commercial property, now may be a perfect time. The Commercial Space team is on hand to assist – contact us today.