June 20, 2024

General election in Great Britain – South Africa: South Africans living abroad go to the polls

South Africans living in the UK before voting Image: AFP

With South Africa’s parliamentary elections set for May 29, South Africans living abroad cast their ballots on Saturday. Hundreds of South Africans living in Great Britain gathered early in the morning in London to exercise their right to vote.

With South Africa’s parliamentary elections set for May 29, South Africans living abroad cast their ballots on Saturday. Hundreds of South Africans living in Great Britain gathered in London early in the morning to exercise their right to vote. Polling stations were also opened at the South African embassy in Berlin and other cities such as The Hague and Canberra in Australia.

Observers expect the election to be the closest since South Africa’s first democratic elections 30 years ago. According to polls, the African National Congress (ANC), in power since the end of apartheid, is at risk of losing its majority in parliament for the first time and may be forced to form a coalition.

Dissatisfaction with the ANC is growing amid high unemployment, a growing gap between rich and poor and growing problems with electricity and water supplies in Africa’s largest economy.

“I hope the ANC doesn’t get a majority,” said Ilse Steele, a 52-year-old environmental scientist from Southampton in southern England who has lived in Britain for 24 years. “The country is falling apart, I’d love to live there, but the infrastructure is falling apart and you have to constantly fear for your life,” she said. About 25,000 South Africans are eligible to vote in Great Britain, he told AFP in London.

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“South Africa is a wonderful country and the way it is developing is a shame,” said Sam van Noordwijk. The 41-year-old wanted to vote for the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA). Other South African voters in London wore red berets, the symbol of the left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

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