South Africa election 2019

South Africa's 50/50 gender cabinet

South Africa's president has appointed women to half of all posts in his new cabinet
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa is being commended for achieving a 50/50 gender balance in his cabinet. South African journalist Verashni Pillay says it's an objective that has been enshrined in the country's constitution but has never been achieved before.

(Pic: President Cyril Ramaphosa announcing his new gender-equal cabinet ; Credit: Reuters_

Crunch time for the ANC


Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

Unsurprisingly the top three parties so far are the ANC, the DA and the EFF.

But the party to watch is the ANC - not least because its support has dwindled in the last few years amid corruption scandals.

After sacking its beleaguered leader Jacob Zuma just under two years ago, the new man in charge, Cyril Ramaphosa, went on an anti-corruption campaign.

He called this a "new dawn" for one of Africa's oldest liberation movement. But did it work?

The numbers will help answer that. Under former President Zuma, the party won by 62% in the last election - for some that's the magic number to beat.

That will be a difficult ask this time around for the hugely divided party. Mr Ramaphosa needs a strong mandate - only then can he hope to effect real renewal within the party.

Then there is the DA, which increased its support base in the last election from 17% to 22% but will be hoping to win more provinces this time around - and make inroads, particularly in areas where the ANC had previously been dominant.

Then there is the EFF, which needs to show that it can continue to grow its support base.

In terms of South Africa's provinces, the prize everyone is vying for is Gauteng - the economic hub of the country. Control that and you pretty much control the whole country.

This will also be an indication of whether Mr Ramaphosa's message to business has been effective.

SA addresses 'double voting' concerns

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

Vote counting continues in South Africa where Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) expects to have counted 90% of the result by late on Thursday evening.

At the Results Operation Centre, political parties are keeping a close eye on the results as they trickle in. Here are the numbers as they stand:

A graphic showing the vote share of South Africa's three main parties with 46% of total votes counted

This was a peaceful election but they want to be sure that it was fair

Officials have assured the country that they are investigating concerns about "double voting" raised by some opposition parties.

The IEC has said while a handful of people may have been able to vote at more than one station on Wednesday, various checks applied when authenticating the result will root out any fraud.

One of these is the ID number, which should only appear once for each voter - any duplicates will be weeded out.

Meanwhile, these polls saw the lowest voter turnout since 1994, when Nelson Mandela was elected as the country's first black president, raising questions around voter apathy - uncharted territory for this young democracy.