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ELECTION WRAP: A day of introspection and coalitions for SA's political parties

2016-08-05 19:22
IEC screen. (Ahmed Areff, News24)

Pretoria – As the dust settles and the final results come trickling in, some political parties have been left licking their wounds following a bruising contest while others rejoice about their gains.

It has been a taxing period for the majority of the parties with the ANC having felt the brunt of the elections.

While 97% of the votes have been counted so far, the party has struggled to get majority votes for some of the metropolitan cities.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu has said the ANC's current standing in the polls, at between 54% and 55%, was a "cause for concern", and that the party would have to do serious introspection on "what went wrong".

Mthembu told News24 on Friday that the ANC was in new territory with its lower polls.

"Probably this is the first election where the ANC will be standing around 54%, 55%. All the elections we had over 60%. The mere fact that you are standing around 54%, 55% is indeed a cause for concern.

Coalition talks

"Therefore the ANC must look itself in the eye because we don't believe that any of the organisations that are on offer in South Africa have a better solution than the ANC," he said.

The ANC was given a serious run for its money by the Democratic Alliance but both parties could not win the metros outright, meaning coalitions were needed to govern some of the councils. The EFF has found itself being a key player when it comes to coalitions.

EFF leader Julius Malema said his party would wait for other parties to approach it in terms of coalitions. He however indicated that they were not desperate to be in a coalition that would go against their principles.

"We will not approach anyone. We will wait for those who are interested to approach us, and then we will take the issue from there. We will talk to the DA. We will talk to everyone and we'll take it from there. The EFF have some non-negotiable principles. If we can't agree let's go on a re-run. There is not going to be a coalition at all costs. If we can't agree we will have a rerun," said Malema.

During his press conference, Malema did not hold back punches and set the gauntlet for those looking to work side by side with him. He said they would not be rescuing the ANC and the DA must not think they will protect white arrogance.

"If they just want us to join to get a majority, they can go, and constitute their own municipalities. We will abstain. ANC, if you don't want to give the land, go. DA, if you don't want to give the land, go. And if the municipality is genuinely hanging, we must have a rerun," he said.

DA claims Tshwane based on its projections

It remains a tight race in the metros in Gauteng but the DA has already claimed victory in the capital. DA leader Mmusi Maimane briefed the media after 17:00 and said they had wrestled control of the municipality from the ANC.

"I want to congratulate the DA for successfully beating the ANC here in Tshwane. We will soon be working hard to form the government. We need to do everything in our power that where we govern we must govern well.  We are waiting for the final figures but our projections have consistently been right," he said.

The IEC was however quick to inform the nation that the announcement by the DA was based on their own projections and not on the commission's results.

IEC vice chairperson Terry Tselane said there was nothing wrong with the DA announcing Tshwane results before they were verified.

The ANC on the other hand was open to forming coalitions, even with parties it considered its "enemies", the ruling party's chairperson Baleka Mbete said. She said historically the ANC had always been a party that put national unity ahead of other factors.

"The ANC is always open to working together with other political role players," said Mbete.

Only a handful of voting districts remain to be counted with 97% of the votes cast having been submitted to the results centre in Pretoria. An announcement is expected to be made on Saturday.

- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.

Read more on: local elections 2016  |  politics

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