PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
MikeHampton
 
Comments: 2
Article views: 272
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all MikeHampton's badges.
 

What is the political future of our small towns?

12 May 2014, 07:34
Similar to our local weather defying predictions from afar, our politics is capable of interesting quirks. Knysna and Bitou (Plettenberg Bay) are both DA-run municipalities but were previously under ANC control. Neither side has a convincing margin to ensure a definite win in the municipal elections in 2016. Consequently, it's interesting to investigate their voting patterns in the 2014 national election for possible insight into the direction these towns may take.

There is, unfortunately, no way to avoid the colour of our skins when it arrives at the reality of politics. Traditionally, Black voters tick ANC whilst Whites opt for the DA. These votes are sometimes made according to fear, hate and culture (it has been rare for this blogger to encounter substantive reasoning).

This dynamic places political stress on the DA as more and more black South Africans leave the Eastern Cape and settle in these towns which are the first encountered as you cross the provincial border. Helen Zille, leader of the DA, took a lot of flack for defining these settlers as "economic refugees" but it fits, not as an insult but as a statement of fact (poverty is the reality for many South Africans and all deserve the right to improve themselves). Despite extreme economic hardships and the lack of service delivery in the Eastern Cape, citizens there are overwhelmingly supportive of the ANC (possibly furthered by presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki having come from there). It is reasonable to accept the possibility that their political leaning is carried here.

The Coloured vote is divided between not only those parties but COPE too (the latter got a councillor in both towns). In Bitou, the ANC won the Ward 4 by-election in 2013 by only 37 votes, denying the DA a majority and entrenching the power of COPE's lonely seat which votes with the DA.

In Knysna, the DA's outright majority was helped when Ntombizanele Grace Sopeki, an ANC councillor, rebelled and successfully ran as an independent after the ANC left her off their candidate lists. Will she return to the ANC fold? It's rumoured that Eleonor Bouw (ex-Bouw-Spies), the previous ANC Mayor, may run for office again but whether it will be as ANC or independent has yet to be determined. ANC Provincial Committee Member, Ralph Stander, may run locally too.

After the sudden death last week of Magda Williams, a DA Councillor, there will be a by-election. Despite alleged, unethical pressure by the ANC in the area, DA support is strong.... but finding a strong candidate won't be easy.

A central point is that what happens with COPE counts. However, COPE seems all but destroyed nationally, infighting reducing their support from 7.42% to 0.67%. In the Western Cape, they are even lower at 0.59%. The worst example of their failure may be in Bitou where they plummeted from 15.67% to a miserable 1.27%. Contrastingly, the political micro-climate of Knysna has them dropping from 11.62% but hanging on at 4.76%. Despite COPE normally voting with the ANC in council, it would seem, from the election results below, that the majority of their electorate has switched to the blue of the DA.

Knysna's ANC-run, Ward 6, which is mostly comprised of Hornlee (South of Wing-West of Harker/East of Protea/North of Sunridge, Hlani, Donkerhoek, Hornlee), has given their  "X" to the DA. The results were DA 35.50%, ANC 33.26% and COPE 24.80% (showing, again, how important COPE's swing-voting can become). The ward is currently run by Clive Witbooi whom i sent a message to for comment (as there are no 2009 figures available to compare to) but he has yet to respond.

An important boost to the DA was the consumption of the ID. Most don't realise it but it was only with this election that the deal between Helen Zille and Patricia de Lille was finalised. This, hypothetically (looking at past results) gained the DA 4.02% in Knysna and 3.87% in Bitou.

Let's move onto the results where the DA was the most supported in Knysna whereas the ANC led in Bitou.

How Knysna voted nationally in 2014 (2009 result in brackets for comparison):

DA - 13 278 / 49.89% (10 568 - 39.26%)
ANC - 10 554 / 39.66% (11 141 - 41.38% )
COPE - 1 268 / 4.76% (3 129 - 11.62% )
ACDP - 356 / 1.34% (357 - 1.33%)
EFF - 352 / 1.32% (new party so no 2009 results)
VF+ - 305 / 1.15% (243 / 0.90% )

How Bitou voted nationally in 2014 (2009 result in brackets for comparison):

ANC - 8 992 / 48.13% (9 030 / 46.66%)
DA - 8 242 / 44.11% (5 981 / 30.91%)
EFF - 397 / 2.12% (new party so no 2009 results)
COPE - 238 / 1.27% (3,032 / 15.67%)
VF+ - 170 / 0.91% (126 / 0.65%)

Note that having more voters does not mean winning a town. That comes down to winning wards.

In both towns, less voters turned up than in the previous election. This conflicts with the increase nationwide and in the Western Cape. It's a possible expression of the growing frustration residents have with both the DA and the ANC. Concurrently, the conservative VF+ would likely have been fed by the DA whilst the far-left-win, EFF, would have scored from the ANC.

Important to keep in mind that 46 000 people voted in the Knysna municipal elections held in 2011. Similarly, the turnout in Bitou was far greater. This shows, convincingly, that the public believes democracy more effective locally than nationally and that daily issues are more motivating than matters thought to be "out of their hands).

What is the political future of our small towns? I don't know... but it will be challenging and interesting.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Joey Ranger
Our once beloved country is not s...

In 1989 I was conscripted to the SADF to do compulsory National Service, I decided to get it “out of the way” as I intended studying, little did I know that conscription would end shortly thereafter.  Read more...

39 comments 2716 views
Submitted by
Hendrik Kruger
The misunderstanding of pessimism

Pessimists are known to be thought of as generally negative, depressed and grumpy people. I'm here to tell you that this is very far from the truth. Pessimists are largely misunderstood realists. Read more...

36 comments 287 views
Submitted by
Michael Mnguni898
Bafana vs Super Eagles

I watched the game between South Africa with a combination of both excitement and anxiety from the first whistle to the last.  Read more...

2 comments 251 views
Submitted by
CharlieC
Creationist Have it all Wrong, bu...

I think creationist have it all wrong. No not that creation did not happen, I’m not going to argue that today, but rather the purpose they assign to creation is wrong. Read more...

17 comments 478 views
Submitted by
Girl tells firefighting pilots ho...

To the chopper pilots who flew the water-bombing missions over Fish Hoek yesterday, you are this 12-year-old's heroes. Read her touching letter HERE. Read more...

49 comments 12158 views
Submitted by
User pics: Fish Hoek fire

Firefighters are battling to contain a blaze in Fish Hoek. See all the News24 User photos - you can upload or e-mail yours. View gallery

5 comments 7428 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.