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  1. ITV Report

South Africa's ruling ANC wins election but vote share slides

President Cyril Ramaphosa applauds as confetti is launched at the end of the results ceremony in Pretoria. Credit: AP

South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) party suffered its weakest victory in national elections in 25 years.

After winning 57.5 per cent of the vote, President Cyril Ramaphosa said voters had given him and others "a firm mandate to build a better South Africa for all".

Despite his positive message, the result marked the worst ever showing for the ANC since it has ruled following the end of apartheid.

In 2014, the party won 62 per cent of the vote.

Mmusi Maimane, leader of the largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, greets a supporter. Credit: AP

Voter turnout also dipped from 74 per cent in 2014 to 65 per cent this year after a number of corruption scandals have blighted politics in the country.

Ramaphosa, who was taken under Mandela's wing, has vowed to clean up politics in the country, but his leadership is under threat from Zuma-allies within the ANC.

Residents of Alexandra Township queue to cast their votes in Johannesburg. Credit: AP

In South Africa, the president and parliamentarians are not elected directly, so the number of votes won by each party determines how many seats each party gets in the 400-seat legislature.

The president of the country is the leader of the party that gets the most votes. The ANC won 230 seats, the DA 84 and the EFF 44.

The main opposition party, the liberal Democratic Alliance, saw its share of votes slip from 22.2 per cent in 2014 to 20.7 per cent.

The populist Economic Freedom Fighters saw its vote share increase, winning 10.7 per cent from 6.3 per cent five years ago.