“If we are to make this a new and better era, we as leaders must put aside our differences and work together in a spirit of partnership, of cooperation and collaboration and common purpose in the interest of the people of South Africa,” said Ramaphosa, announcing the results at the election center in Pretoria.

 South Africa’s voters have delivered a significant rebuke to the governing African National Congress, the party of late anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, which got less than 50% of ballots cast in local government elections, AP reports.

Widespread corruption, persistently high rates of unemployment, crippling power blackouts and ineffective delivery of government services were burning campaign issues.

In results announced Thursday night, the ANC saw an erosion of its support and as a result will control fewer councils and have fewer mayors in big and small cities across the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged that the party will have to form coalitions to govern key metropolitan areas.

“If we are to make this a new and better era, we as leaders must put aside our differences and work together in a spirit of partnership, of cooperation and collaboration and common purpose in the interest of the people of South Africa,” said Ramaphosa, announcing the results at the election center in Pretoria.

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