Unrests in South Africa: Causes and Effects on the Municipal Election 2021


Natalia Voronina


November 1, 2021 saw municipal elections in South Africa, with the turnout below 50% and ANC securing a mere 45.6% compared against 64% in 2016. Referring to the pandemic, the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa applied to the Constitutional Court to have the elections postponed till late February 2022, but failed to do so. Whereas a low turnout can be explained by the fear of pandemic, disappointing results for ANC could be accounted for by a number of reasons, including South African unrests of July 2021. The article analyzes the July unrests and their effect on the 2021 municipal elections.


elections in South Africa, riots in South Africa, Zuma’s arrest




1. Abraham A. Hilotin J. Llata S. Pulikkal V. What is behind South Africa’s latest unrest? 13.07.2021. https://gulfnews.com/special-reports/what-is-behind-south-africas-latest-unrest-1.1626187 471074 (accessed 15.08.2021)
2. Alexandre P. Protests and Police Statistics: Some commentary. 23.03.2012. University of Johannesburg. P. 3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305399004_Protests_and_Police_Statistics_ Some_Commentary (accessed 09.08.2021)
3. Braddick I. It is a war zone. South Africa riots – “starving rioters say they are on the verge of eating each other as days of looting and violence sparks severe food shortages. 15.07.2021. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/15597199/south-africa-riots-starving-eating-each-other-food-shor-tages/ (accessed 09.08.2021)
4. Breytenbach G. DA to lay charges of treason and terrorism against ANC instigators of unrest in KZN and Gauteng. 16.07.2021. https://www.da.org.za/2021/07/da-to-lay-charges-of-treason-and-terrorism-against-anc-instigators-of-unrest-in-kzn-and-gauteng (accessed 10.08.2021)
5. Burke J. Enemies of democracy behind South Africa protests 16.07.2021. https://www.the guardian.com/world/2021/jul/16/enemies-of-democracy-behind-south-africa-protests-says-president-ramaphosa (accessed 10.09.2021)
6. Deaths climb to 72 in South Africa after Zuma jailed. Associated Press News. https://apnews. com/article/africa-business-johannesburg-riots-south-africa-fe49fed65c696d0e9d587b9b5ad26aca (accessed 10.09.2021)
7. Enemies of democracy behind South Africa protests. The Guardian. 16.07.2021. https://www.the guardian.com/world/2021/jul/16/enemies-of-democracy-behind-south-africa-protests-says-president-ramaphosa (accessed 10.09.2021)