ANC and DA both 'winners' in Joburg by-elections

2019-07-25 15:57
IEC voting station. (File)

IEC voting station. (File)

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The ANC and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have both expressed their happiness about the results of the municipal by-elections which were held on Wednesday.

While the DA retained three wards, the ANC snatched Ward 109 with 51.15% of the vote.

The DA managed to hold on to wards 54 (68.58%), 83 (71.07%) and 112 (46.82%).

The new DA councillors are Stuart Iain Marais, Florence Cheryl Roberts and Lerato Magdeline Philiya Mphefo, while Liaquad Alley Mohamed Ebrahim of the ANC will take over Ward 109, where a previous DA-affiliated councillor resigned.

In a statement, the ANC in Johannesburg said the victory in this ward is testimony that the residents have lost confidence in the DA-led coalition, "which has dismally failed to deliver services and enforce by-laws".

"Today the people of Marlboro, Kelvin, Gallo Manor, Morningside Manor, Alexandra and Stjwetla came out in their numbers to vote for the ANC. The ANC's victory in this by-election is a sign of renewed confidence of the people in the ability of the ANC to solve their problems," the statement read.

"Our plan to win Johannesburg in 2021 is in motion and the results in these by-elections are indicative of an upward trajectory of ANC support going forward."

ANC Johannesburg spokesperson Jolidee Matongo told News24 the DA councillor in charge of Ward 109 resigned because of frustrations with service delivery.

"The DA doesn't care about the people in that area," Matongo said. "Service delivery issues were not being attended to because the area includes informal settlements that house mainly people of African and Indian origin."

Matongo claimed "white areas" were being prioritised by the DA-led council.

'Hogwash'

However, Gauteng DA leader John Moody told News24 that Matongo's claims were "absolute hogwash".

"There are wards that are DA strongholds and wards that are ANC strongholds. [Ward 109] is a swing vote either way. There has been a huge migration of voters into that area, more specifically because of informal buildings and land invasions. The IEC (Electoral Commission of SA) cannot refuse people to register to vote.

"We have contested the fact that people were being bused in from neighbouring Alexandra wards and a number of them were removed. Overall, the change in demographics in that particular area resulted in the loss of that ward. It was certainly not because of service delivery issues.

"We are very happy with the results of the by-election and retaining three of the four wards. The DA will continue to work with the people in Ward 109 and serve every ward in the City equally," Moody said.

Moody said the DA councillor who resigned, did so because he relocated.

In a statement, the DA said: "We fought a tough campaign but recognise that we have much work ahead of us to turn things around in the metro and the ward.

"However, we are encouraged that we retained three wards despite challenging circumstances, which we work to address in all that we do."

Meanwhile, the FF Plus also celebrated its growth in the province, saying it had experienced a rise in support coming in close to 10% during the by-election in Ward 83 in the Johannesburg Metro.

"When compared to the municipal by-elections of 2016, support for the party increased from 3.78% to 23.27%," its provincial leader Gauteng Jaco Mulder said in a statement.

Mulder said the party had gained votes in the ward, while the DA had lost some.

"These results confirm a further exodus of voters who are leaving the DA to join the FF Plus. It is becoming increasingly clear that after the 2021 local government elections, the FF Plus will play a significant role in local government as well."

He added that the FF Plus has had governing partners in various municipal and metro councils since 2016 and the latest results consolidated the party's significance as a coalition partner, "with the aim of taking over ANC-controlled municipalities so as to ensure better service delivery to loyal taxpayers".

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Read more on:    da  |  ff plus  |  anc  |  johannesburg  |  politics  |  elections
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