ANC easily wins South African election

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo credit: Getty

The African National Congress has easily won South Africa's general election but its share of the vote fell, reflecting anger at corruption scandals and entrenched racial inequalities.

The turnout for Wednesday's vote was markedly lower than at the last election in 2014, falling to 66 percent from 73.5 percent, according to the electoral commission.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, also saw its vote share fall.

ANC deputy secretary General Jessie Duarte said "confidence is returning and we need to correct our mistakes".

Other ANC officials had already acknowledged the decline in support for the party compared with five years ago.

Provisional results on Saturday showed the ruling party secured 57.51 percent of the parliamentary vote.

The DA picked up 20.76 percent and the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters took 10.79 percent, the Independent Electoral Commission said on its website.

The ANC's victory secures it enough seats in parliament to give President Cyril Ramaphosa another five years in office but may leave him short of ammunition to battle party rivals who oppose his reforms to galvanise the economy and counter graft.

It was the worst electoral performance by the late Nelson Mandela's former liberation movement, which has governed South Africa uninterrupted since the country's first free election marked the end of white minority rule in 1994.

The ANC had not previously won less than 60 percent of the vote in a national poll.