South Africa Election Is Chance to Hold ANC to Account, Asset Manager Says

(Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s largest asset manager said next year’s election is an opportunity for voters to hold the ruling African National Congress to account for the country’s problems.

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“We face some very real challenges and we should be a little scared going into next year’s election,” Ninety One Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Hendrik du Toit said on Monday. “But that’s why 2024 is a moment for South Africans to express themselves on issues and to get those issues dealt with and hold their government to account,” he told Radio 702.

Polls show the ANC, which has been in power since the end of apartheid in 1994, at risk of losing its absolute majority in the election next year amid widespread voter frustration.

Africa’s most-industrialized economy is struggling with rolling power cuts, unemployment above 30% and gaping inequality that have all curbed growth.

But du Toit said that South Africans are fortunate because they have a democracy, a strong constitution and functioning courts and those should be used.

Du Toit, whose dual Johannesburg- and London-listed firm has about 2.8 trillion rand ($154 billion) in assets under management, said that he was optimistic about the vote.

“My hope is that the elections are a time for South Africa to give that message to our political leadership and give it very clearly,” said du Toit.

The Independent Electoral Commission separately said that more than a million South Africans registered to vote over the weekend.

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