Elections in South Africa has began as about, 61,014 candidates from 200 political parties competing in this election.
There are some 61,014 candidates from 200 political parties (a 65 percent increase in the number of parties compared to the last election in 2011) vying for 283 municipalities.
In 2011, the ANC managed to secure control of 198 councils, winning in seven of the country’s eight biggest metropolitan areas.
Some 40 percent of the population live in those areas. In contrast, the Democratic Alliance (DA) opposition party, with Cape Town under its control, managed 18 councils.
The biggest story of the election will be the fate of Johannesburg, Tshwane (Pretoria) and the Nelson Mandela Bay.
The ANC is struggling with internal strife. In June, the country’s capital Pretoria was hit by violent protests over a disputed mayoral candidate for the upcoming municipal elections.
Not only has the violence manifested itself in protest over candidates, but the party has been hit by a string of alleged politically motivated murders exposing deep rooted factionalism within the party.
The situation is so dire that Police Minister Nathi Nhleko was forced to establish a task team to investigate the murders.
The minister said police were investigating up to 30 incidents of political violence, including 14 related to murder or attempted murder.
South Africans between ages 15 and 34 account for around 19.7 million (55 percent) of South Africa’s working-age population.
But unemployment rate within this category is between 35-37 percent. In 2014, it was expected that the youth vote would play an important part in deciding the national election, but youth registration and turnout was poor.
This election will be no different. According to a report published by the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) last week, young South Africans are unlikely to rush to the polls on Wednesday.