The African National Congress (ANC) is bound to win the elections for the national parliament on 2 June and its leader, Thabo Mbeki, will become the next president. That focuses more interest on the simultaneous elections for the nine provincial legislatures. In at least five the ANC is equally sure to win, but opposition parties may gain seats, or hold the balance of power, in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Western Cape. Opposition gains will symbolise South Africa's diversity but, as in the days of white rule, the powers of the provinces are little more than a cursory nod towards federalism.
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