ONE of the major opposition parties on the North Coast, the Democratic Alliance (DA) snatched three wards from the ruling party in the recent local government elections. The DA took wards 61, 58 and 106, which were the ANC srongholds after the last elections. The DA, led by Dolly Munien locally, took Ward 61 in Tongaat from the ANC with more than 8 000 votes while ANC received 6 761 votes. ANC outgoing councillor, Michael Abraham for Ward 61, did not stand as ward councillor for the recent elections. Prior to the elections residents took to the streets claiming that the ANC made changes to the candidate list without informing the community. Protestors vowed not to vote for the ANC in the municipal elections because they claimed to have been “betrayed”. The DA also won Ward 106 and received 45.2% while the ruling party only got 38.74%. The EFF received 4.23%. The new councillor Johnson Chetty (DA) replaces ANC councillor, Mxolisi Ndzimbomvu. Political analyst Bheki Mngomezulu from Mzala Nxumalo Study for the Southern Africa says factionalism and infighting within the ruling party on the North Coast was the main reason it lost many wards. Mngomezulu told Coastal Weekly he strongly believes the ANC’s demise in other KZN municipalities was caused by problems that plagued the organisation from December 2015.“Voters were not happy with the transition in leadership within the ANC that was made in December last year. “The changes in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature added up to the frustration of the community,” he said.Mngomezulu added that North Coast residents opted to jump into bed with opposition parties in a bid to change their lives.“There is no doubt that residents opted to vote for opposition parties in order to bring about change in their respective areas. The community was frustrated and demanded to see change in these municipal elections. “That gave opposition parties, like the DA and IFP, an opportunity to take away the votes from the ruling party. “However, there is still hope for the ruling party to pick up where it left off. The palpable anger among the public will not last forever. “We have seen members of the NFP rejoining the IFP after the NFP formed a coalition with the ANC. “Such things are not peculiar in politics,” he said. Despite the poor performance by the ANC on the North Coast, it managed to keep eThekwini Municipality with 126 seats while the DA got 61 seats in council. Nationally, the ANC remains on top with more than 50 000 votes followed by the DA and then the IFP.According to the results published by the Independent Electoral Commission, the ANC is leading with 5 163 seats on national level, followed by the DA with 1 775 and IFP with 432.