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Mandela’s Party Challenged in Municipal Election

South African voters head to the polls as a stalling economy overshadows progress made since the end of apartheid.

An election poster of the United Democratic Movement is attached to a pole next to washed clothes close to a voting station in Imizamo Yethu, an impoverished informal settlement in Hout Bay, during South African municipal elections, on August 3, 2016, in Cape Town. South Africans voted Wednesday in closely contested municipal elections that could deal a heavy blow to the African National Congress, which has ruled since leading the struggle to end apartheid. Nelson Mandela's former party risks losing control of key cities including the capital Pretoria, the economic hub Johannesburg and coastal Port Elizabeth, according to some polls. RODGER BOSCH / AFP - Getty Images
A member of the South African National Defence Force, SANDF, helps set up a tent to be used as a polling station during tense local municipal elections in Vuwani, South Africa's northern Limpopo province. SIPHIWE SIBEKO / Reuters
An electoral poster for the opposition Inkatha Freedom Party in the KwaMashu district of Durban, hangs the day before municipal elections. The municipal elections widely seen as a referendum on President Jacob Zuma, with the stalling economy overshadowing progress made since the end of apartheid. Zuma's African National Congress, which controls the majority of the 278 municipalities, has been weakened by graft scandals and growing public discontent. MARCO LONGARI / AFP - Getty Images
Locals queue to cast their votes in Diepsloot township, north of Johannesburg. STRINGER / Reuters
A South African woman casts her ballot at a voting station in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria. HERMAN VERWEY / AFP - Getty Images
Voters look at a ballot paper at a polling station in Hangberg, Hout Bay. RODGER BOSCH / AFP - Getty Images
A handout photograph made available by the South African Government Communication and Information System shows President Jacob Zuma as he talks with an electoral official before casting his vote at Ntolwane Primary School, in Nkandla, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The ruling ANC is expected to lose ground against the opposition parties in a vote which many observers consider the most important since the country's first free and fair elections in 1994. ELMOND JIYANE / HANDOUT / EPA
A woman looks at documents as she gets ready to cast her ballot during municipal elections at a polling station in Soweto's Freedom Park, South Africa. JOHN WESSELS / AFP - Getty Images
South African ruling party African National Congress Nelson Mandela Bay mayoral candidate Danny Jordaan talks to the media after voting in Port Elizabeth. MICHAEL SHEEHAN / AFP - Getty Images
A woman walks out of a polling station after casting her vote in Meyerton. JOHN WESSELS / AFP - Getty Images
A voter gets her thumb inked at a polling station in KwaZulu-Natal Province. RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP - Getty Images
Locals queue to cast their votes in Diepsloot township, north of Johannesburg. STRINGER / Reuters
A South African municipal worker dances as voters queue at a polling station outside the hostels in Umlazi, Durban. MARCO LONGARI / AFP - Getty Images
South African Voters make their way to a voting station to vote in the Municipal Elections in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria. HERMAN VERWEY / AFP - Getty Images