ANC losing support, survey finds
Johannesburg - The ANC has lost 38 wards in local government elections over the last four years, the latest South Africa Survey has shown.
The Democratic Alliance has gained 24, the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said on Tuesday. The survey is published annually by the institute.
"Between the last local government elections in 2006, and up until August 2010, the ANC managed to hold 306 ward seats, gain 17, and lose 55, giving it an overall loss of 38 seats.
"By contrast, the DA retained 61 seats, gained 29, and lost only five, resulting in an overall gain of 24 seats."
The institute analysed data on by-elections from the Independent Electoral Commission to arrive at its conclusion.
Local government elections
SAIRR researcher Marius Roodt predicted the ANC was likely to lose support in the upcoming local government elections.
"The ANC retained the majority of the seats that it held before, but the loss of 55 seats is significant.
"Using these figures as a basis for analysis it is likely that the DA will retain control of Cape Town. Of the other five metropolitan municipalities the ANC is most vulnerable in Nelson Mandela Bay, which includes Port Elizabeth. It could also lose significant support in Johannesburg, and Tshwane, of which Pretoria is part," he added.
He predicted the ANC would retain control of the overwhelming majority of municipalities in the country.
The other big winners in local elections were independent candidates.
Over the period examined, independents held onto two seats, gained 18 and lost three - a net gain of 15 seats.
Many of the independents were Congress of the People members - a party now in the throes of a leadership battle which has seen two structures emerge.
The Inkatha Freedom Party lost 10 wards in total over the period. It held 47 seats, lost 15, and gained five.