ANC, DA the only winners in by-elections

2019-04-11 15:28

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The ANC and the DA were the only winners in Wednesday's by-elections.

The ANC retained six seats, won one from the IFP and lost one to the DA, while the DA retained five seats.

The seat the DA won from the ANC is for Ward 4 in Hessequa Municipality in the Western Cape, where the party's candidate Gerald Leonard Boezak got 54.93% of the votes cast compared to the party's 49.03% in the 2016 Municipal Elections. Voter turnout on Wednesday was 67.63%.

This means the DA now has a majority in the municipality.

The ANC expressed its disappointment in the Hessequa result. 

Western Cape ANC secretary Faiez Jacobs said in a statement the party would do a full assessment on what went wrong, including issues of voter turnout, local cohesion and unity and strategies to reach voters on farms. "We will redouble our efforts now to strengthen our local branch so that we can be visible in every voting district - Diepkloof, Slangrivier, Vondeling and Witsand - and become an effective opposition," he said.

Jacobs said it is clear that voter turnout will be critical on May 8. 

"All our efforts until election day will be focused on door-to-door work and election day logistics. Every vote counts and we must work very hard to ensure that every one of our supporters gets to the polls on May 8.

Disappointment a strong motivator

"We will take this disappointment as a strong motivator to up our game across the entire province as we mobilise around our message of hope and renewal as represented by President Ramaphosa," Jacobs said.

In contrast, the DA in the Western Cape was in a bullish mood after taking a ward from the ANC and retaining their wards in DA strongholds Stellenbosch and George. 

"The greatest win for the party is in Ward 4 Hessequa where the DA took a ward off the ANC," DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said in a statement. 

"This is the very first time the DA has won this ward. This victory means that the DA now holds the majority in the Hessequa municipality."

The DA's other victories in the province were in Stellenbosch's Ward 9 where Zelda Julia Dalling retained the seat for the party with 98.70% of the votes cast compared to 94.47% in the 2016 Municipal Elections. Voter turnout on Wednesday was only 15.62%, which is particularly low, even by by-election standards.

In George's Ward 18, the DA's Donovan Gultig retained the seat the DA won in a by-election on April 25, 2018, with 74.34% of the votes cast compared to 93.05% in that by-election. Voter turnout was 43.30%. While the DA's support dropped with almost 19 percentage points, the FF Plus's support grew with almost 14 percentage points.

'Clean, effective and efficient governance'

"These results show that residents continue to place their trust in the clean, effective, and efficient governance that only the DA can bring. These wins and gains are indicative of the DA’s growth in the Western Cape, where more and more residents are voting for the DA," said Madikizela. 

In KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC's Nkosinathi Clement Mkhwanazi won Ward 21 in the Abaqulusi Municipality. The ANC won the seat from the IFP from the 2016 Municipal Elections, with 49.89% of the votes cast compared to 44.87% in the 2016 Municipal Elections. Voter turnout was 59.90%.

"The by-election victory in Abaqulusi Municipality puts the ANC in pole position to control the municipality as it now occupies 22 council seats, which are equal to those occupied by the IFP, EFF and DA combined,"  Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, provincial ANC spokesperson in a statement.

"It is clear that the people of Abaqulusi are rejecting the IFP-led unholy alliance which has brought the municipality to its knees."

"This development also has huge implications for the Zululand District municipality which may for the first time fall into the leadership of the ANC, a move which will bring to realisation the long struggle by the ANC to finally liberate the people of Zululand."

Despite losing a ward, the IFP remained hopeful about the upcoming elections.

"Yesterday’s polls are indicative of how well the Party will do in the National and Provincial Elections on May 8," said Albert Mncwango, IFP Daily Management Committee Chairperson in a statement.

Winning hearts and minds of the electorate

"The IFP is growing stronger by the day and with just over 20 days to the election date, the IFP is on an upward trajectory, winning hearts and minds of the electorate who are desperately seeking a party with tried, tested and trusted leadership."

In the by-elections the ANC won in Gauteng, which promises to be hotly contested in the upcoming general elections, ANC support dropped by about four percentage points in one ward, but grew with a similar margin in the other. Voter turnout was very low.

The ANC's Bheki Mgaga won Ward 50 in the City of Johannesburg Municipality. The party retained the seat it had won in the 2016 Municipal Elections, with 71.74% of the votes cast compared to 76.93% in the 2016 Municipal Elections. Voter turnout was 25.66%.

The ANC's Nkosephayo God-Slove Zungu won Ward 22 in the City of Johannesburg Municipality – JHB. The party retained the seat it had won in the 2016 Municipal Elections, with 73.32% of the votes cast compared to 69.73% in the 2016 Municipal Elections. Voter turnout on Wednesday was 28.28%.

In Mpumalanga, the ANC also retained two seats, but in both cases, their support dropped significantly, albeit with low voter turnout. In Ward 6 in Chief Albert Luthuli Municipality the ANC retained the seat it had won in the 2016 Municipal Elections, with 87.11% of the votes cast compared to 80.35% in the 2016 Municipal Elections. Voter turnout was 41.67%.

In Ward 13 in Msukaligwa Municipality the ANC retained the seat it won in the 2016 Municipal Elections, with 61.97% of the votes cast compared to 79.35% in the 2016 Municipal Elections. Voter turnout was 33.26%.

The DA's support saw small increases compared to 2016, except in George, as mentioned earlier, and in the Northern Cape's Sol Plaatjie Municipality, where it retained the seat it had won in 2016 with 54.97% of the votes cast compared to 60.09% in the 2016 Municipal Elections. Voter turnout was 50.66%.

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Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  politics  |  elections 2019
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