Voters didn’t goto the loos to cast their votes

2011-05-28 18:57

“Toilet politics” may have ­dominated the run-up to this year’s local elections, but numbers show that in the areas of the country with the least access to sanitation, the ­battle of the loos counted for little.

In the 10 most toilet-deprived areas of the country, voters did not punish the responsible parties.

Analysts saw the open-toilet row between the DA and the ANC as an indicator that service delivery would shape voting patterns for the first time.

However, measuring election ­results from 2006 and this year2011 against Stats SA’s 2007 community survey of the poorest places in
the country paints a different ­picture.

In Encgobo and Port St. Johns in the Eastern Cape, support for the ANC increased by four and five percentage points, while in ­Mbhashe – the district with the ­least access to sanitation – support for the ANC remained unchanged.

At ground zero for the toilet wars in Makhaza, Cape Town, newly elected councillor for ward 96, ­Danile Khatshwa, said support for the ANC increased by five percentage points.

However, the upswing in Khayelitsha was eclipsed by the DA’s new two-thirds majority, despite the row over the unenclosed toilets in the township.

The ANC retained a comfortable lead in Moqhaka, Free State, with 34 seats versus the DA’s eleven. This despite the revelation of 1 600 open toilets.

Independent political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said since 1994 voters have had increasingly ­complex and contradictory ­motivations for voting and ­reducing the reasons to delivery or race was an over-simplification.

“Frustrated ANC voters are still not voting for other parties. They demand that the ANC must ­change and still see the ANC as the party that will change things.”

Dr Lubna Nadvi of the ­University of KwaZulu-Natal’s school of political science, said ­service delivery issues in rural parts of the province were over-shadowed by ethnic affiliations.

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