South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to unveil the ruling ANC party's election manifesto on Saturday in front of tens of thousands of supporters, marking the start of four months of hectic campaigning.
The African National Congress (ANC), which has ruled since the end of apartheid 25 years ago, is tipped to win the vote despite faltering support, internal divisions and a sluggish economy.The party of Nelson Mandela suffered a slump in popularity under the scandal-ridden presidency of Jacob Zuma, who was ousted last February after nine years at the helm.
But a recent IPSOS survey predicted the ANC could garner as much as 61 percent of the vote in May's national and provincial elections.At the legislative level, that would put it on a par with its performance in 2014, when it picked up 62 percent.
In South Africa's parliament, the party which wields a majority of seats also selects the president.The forecast upswing is pinned on the appointment of moderate pro-business reformer Ramaphosa as president after ANC lawmakers forced Zuma to resign as corruption scandals piled up.
"We recognise that in recent times, our movement has fallen short of our people's expectations," Ramaphosa said in an address earlier this week marking 107 years since the party was founded.