The Presidential Years

Mandela took the ANC’s increased majority of 66 per cent in the election as vindication, as reflecting popular recognition of the changes of the first five years of democracy, despite the constraints, problems and mistakes. The increase in support – in an election in which 88 percent of registered voters turned out - had come mainly from sectors that had held back from the ANC in 1994 – rural KwaZulu-Natal, and Coloured and Indian communities – now reassured by the peaceful transition and by the inclusive approach to building the new South African nation.