South Africa’s ANC stages mass rally ahead of polls

April 19th, 2009 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, April 19 (DPA) South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) was holding a last mass campaign rally in a Johannesburg stadium Sunday ahead of general elections next week that the party is expected easily to win, albeit with a reduced majority.
A little over 23 million South Africans are registered to vote in the country’s fourth democratic national and provincial elections Wednesday.

While victory for the former liberation movement is almost assured given the high levels of loyalty to the party among the black majority, ANC leader Jacob Zuma is battling to deliver another two-thirds majority.

In 2004, the party took 70 percent of the vote but polls show support dropping to between 60 and 65 percent following a split in the party and amid disillusionment over widespread corruption and poverty.

The opposition, led by the Democratic Alliance (DA), has called for voters to deny the ANC another two-thirds majority, which gives the party the power to change the constitution on its own.

The Siyanqoba (We are winning) rally is being held in Coca-Cola Park, formerly known as Ellis Park, one of 10 stadiums that will host next year’s football World Cup, as well in an adjoining athletics stadium. The two stadiums have a joint seated capacity of nearly 100,000.

The official opposition DA held its last rally in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town Saturday. The party is hoping to win control of Western Cape province, where Cape Town is located, from the ANC.

The new Congress of the People, the party born out of a split in the ANC last year, chose the northern Limpopo province for its last rally Sunday.

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