Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance on Thursday claimed massive municipal election gains in the Western Cape, with provincial leader Theuns Botha saying the party would control 15 of 30 municipalities.
"It is not all official yet, but we will take 15," he said at the IEC results centre in Bellville South.
According to audited results, the DA had won outright control of Drakenstein, taking 35 seats to the ANC's 19, and Breede Valley, where it took 22 seats to the ANC's 14 out of total 41 seats.
It repeated the feat in Saldanha Bay, taking 15 seats to the ANC's eight, as well as in George, where it took 25 seats out of 49.
The party also won clear majorities in Bergriver, Swartland, Overstrand, Langeberg, Threewaterskloof, Mossel Bay and the West Coast district municipality.
The ANC won an outright majority in Beaufort West, with seven out of 13 seats.
In Witzenberg, the DA took 10 seats and the ANC eight out of 23. In Kannaland, the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa won three seats and the ANC and DA two each.
Botha said the results were a vast improvement on the party's performance in 2006 local polls.
Then, it won an outright majority in only two municipalities and eventually controlled five thanks to coalitions with smaller parties.
The DA's gains come on the back of a massive increase in voter turnout which the IEC said was above 60% in all municipalities.
In Prince Albert, 81% of registered voters cast their ballots.
The IEC said that by early afternoon it had captured 60% of votes in the Cape Town metro, where the DA is hoping to retain control after a close contest with the ANC.