South Africans voted Monday in local elections expected to reflect growing discontent with the African National Congress, whose popularity has been waning since long before deadly riots in July. Polls suggest a majority of voters could for the first time turn against the ANC, which has governed nationally since Nelson Mandela’s election ended minority white rule in 1994. Senior party members, including ex-president Jacob Zuma, face a slew of corruption investigations — the latest linked to coronavirus spending — and unemployment has hit 34.4 percent. In July, Zuma’s imprisonment sparked riots and looting that left at least 354 dead. But for many voters, daily frustrations are at the forefront. Decades of mismanagement have corroded state utilities, causing water cuts and rolling blackouts that interrupted the ANC’s own campaigning. “The apartheid government used to be bad, but at least it delivered services to the people,” said Samuel Mahlaule, 55-year-old Uber driver and father of four in Soweto. Early Monday, he was in a queue of fewer than 20 people at a polling station near President Cyril Ramaphosa’s childhood home. “Our ANC leaders haven’t really delivered,” he said. “They make too many empty promises. But we are still hopeful.” Farther away in Danville, a predominantly white working-class suburb of Pretoria, Charmaine Barnard, 57, also yearns for change. “The reason why I’m voting is to make change in the country, better life for everyone,” she said. Only 65 percent of possible voters actually registered to cast ballots, and turnout is still expected to be low as South Africans choose local councillors in 257 municipalities. “I won’t vote because the government has forgotten about the plight of people like me,” said Xihluke Mitileni, 27, an unemployed mother of two. “I am a squatter in my own country,” she said. “My parents were promised houses by the ANC when I was young, but that promise has never been delivered. ” Ramaphosa and other top ANC leaders have relentlessly campaigned across the country, with the president himself even stumping in small towns. Their focus this past week has been on the capital Pretoria and financial hub Johannesburg, which the ANC lost for the first time in the last local elections in 2016. That year the party won just under 54 percent of the vote nationally, its worst electoral showing ever. “We have not realised the aspirations of our people, we are going to do better,” Ramaphosa said after casting his ballot in Soweto. He said he expected an “overwhelming victory” for the ANC, but polls predict that the party’s popularity will keep sliding.