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The South African press assesses the second general election since the end of apartheid

Daily Dispatch

AN AIR of stoical forbearance settled on voting queues. Whatever the bundle of reasons for our conduct, millions of us can congratulate ourselves on behaving like courteous democrats. Whether or not we voted for the ANC, the vast majority of us demonstrated that we trust the Independent Electoral Commission at least enough to take part.

Natal Witness

THE REAL winner is democracy. In a country that only five years ago was close to civil war, with many political parties using dangerously divisive tactics for short-term gain, Wednesday's poll was an exemplary exercise in the democratic process. The voting procedure was characterised by a professionalism and decorum more associated with countries where democracy has long been part of public life.

Daily Mail & Guardian

THE OPPOSITION will now need to fashion its strategies differently. It will need to convince many blacks who now support the ANC that, when the opposition opposes, it is opposing on their behalf - that it is not fighting back on behalf of white privilege but for the opportunities or services most wanted by those who most need them.

Cape Times

AT THE time of writing, it was not yet clear what the election outcome was. However, the outcome was pretty predictable. So what became important in election 1999 was not the outcome, but how effectively the election was going to be run and whether there would be any violence. Many of us still remember the 1994 election when the organisers stumbled from one mishap to another.