"[The] vote sent a clear message that the years when South Africa effectively operated as a one-party system are over, or drawing towards a close. A record number of voters, over 26 million, registered for the election, with rival parties apparently mobilising supporters to sign up and then attend polling stations far more effectively than the ANC," writes Emma Graham-Harrison in the Guardian.
"All of this is good news for South African democracy. Jacob Zuma, the unpopular president, has been dogged by corruption allegations and scandals for nearly his entire time in office. According to a recent Ipsos survey, 57% of South Africans believe the ANC has 'lost its moral compass'. As the ANC counts its losses, Mr Zuma is likely to face mounting pressure to step down ahead of his party's leadership conference next year," writes the Economist.
"The discrepancy between the country's remarkable democratic evolution since the end of apartheid and the parallel but slower rate of economic and social change is a source of growing discontent, particularly in the largely black, lower-income townships," writes CFR Fellow John Campbell.