THE ANC was left bruised nationally and the DA energised, while the EFF emerged as kingmakers following one of the most hotly-contested elections in post-democratic South Africa.Support for the ruling party fell to below 60% of the votes for the first time since 1994, who only won outright majorities in Buffalo City, Mangaung, and eThekwini.Despite many of its members breaking away and standing as independent candidates, the ANC managed to fend off competition from the opposition and hold on to eThekwini and Msunduzi.Provisional results show the party managed to retain the only metro in the province, eThekwini, by 56,01%.Just over 26% of the votes went to the DA, the blue party giving the ANC a run for its money in other metros across the country.The IFP took 4,2%, EFF 3,4% and AIC 1,37%, whereas the other small parties got less than a percent.As many as 57 independent candidates, believed to be aggrieved by the ANC nomination process, had registered as independent candidates.Fault lines within the ruling party in eThekwini grew prior to and post the ANC eThekwini regional conference where mayor elect Zandile Gumede defeated outgoing mayor James Nxumalo to the position of regional chairperson.The failure of any single party to break the 50% mark meant coalitions would be the order of the day for the next five years.President Jacob Zuma struck a conciliatory tone and said the 2016 local government elections showed the world that democracy was thriving in South Africa. He congratulated all the parties, including those who gained new municipalities. South Africans were the real victors, and their will prevailed, he said.“You have shown the world that South Africa is a thriving democracy where differences of political opinion and diverse political preferences are allowed to flourish,” he said in a speech at the IEC’s results centre in Pretoria.His speech was overshadowed by an anti-rape protest by a group of women. As he spoke, they stood up and displayed placards with words recalling his rape trial 10 years ago. More drama followed when security guards shoved them away.DA leader Mmusi Maimane gave assurances that the party would not purge any civil servants in the metros where it would take over from the ANC.“The issue is not your political affiliation; the issue is about making sure that you have the best person to do the job. I’m not out there to purge. There’s this misinformed rumour that the DA is out to purge the municipality. That’s not true,” he said.eThekwini (ANC majority) ANC - 56.01% - 126 seatsDA - 26.92% - 61 seatsIFP - 4.2% - 10 seatsEFF - 3.44% - 8 seatsAIC - 1.37% - 3 seatsACDP, MF, DLC, TA, MOSA, APC, Aljama - Less than 1% - 1 seat each.Watch next week’s Fever to find out more about your local ward councillors and new city leaders.