ANC loses support in North West

2013-08-08 17:20

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ANC triumphs in Tlokwe

2013-08-08 09:50

The ANC thanked supporters after it took the lead in the closely contested Tlokwe's ward nine by-elections. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town - The ANC lost voter support in the North West, but made gains in two Western Cape wards in Wednesday's municipal by-elections.

This is according to the preliminary results on the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC) website on Thursday.

The African National Congress saw a drop in support in five of the seven wards it retained in the North West.

The biggest drop was in Tlokwe's Ward 9, where it previously received 90% of the vote, but only got 50% on Wednesday, after an independent candidate contested it.

In Ditsobotla, the ANC got 70% of the vote, as opposed to 93%, during the local government elections in 2011.

The party lost one of its wards in Mahikeng to an independent candidate, who took 49% of the votes.

Of the 15 wards the party retained nationally, it lost support in seven and gained support in seven.

Inxuba Yethemba in the Eastern Cape was uncontested.

The most notable gains were in Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape. In Ward 5, the party increased its support from 40% to 56%.

In Ward 6, support for the ANC increased from 40% to 55%.

The ANC, however, lost another Oudtshoorn ward when its candidate moved to the Democratic Alliance and secured 54% of the votes.

While the DA gained a ward, it lost support in the three wards it retained in the Western Cape.

In Bergrivier, the DA secured 50.5% of the vote compared to 51.4% previously.

Its vote percentage dropped from 94% to 84% in Overstrand, and from 68% to 55% in George.

ANC in the Western Cape

Aubrey Matshiqi, a political analyst at the Centre for Policy Studies, said that despite these drops, the ANC was one municipality from being "wiped out" in the Western Cape.

He said the DA was gaining more ground in the province and this was likely an indication of what could be expected in the elections on a provincial level next year.

Commenting on the overall by-election results, Institute for Security Studies political analyst Prince Mashele said there was a deepening perception that the ANC was a corrupt party, which was not "without substance".

"People are losing faith in the ANC, not only in North West but nationally. The image of the ANC is gone and I don't think it will return because ANC voters are realising they are an ordinary party of ordinary human beings who are corrupt."

Mashele said there was a trend where people disillusioned by the ANC were increasingly looking to independent candidates.

Regarding Tlokwe, Mashele said the DA had portrayed itself as the main opposition, when it was in fact an independent candidate who contested first place.

The ANC secured 738 votes, Independent candidate Khotso Ratikoane 504, and the DA 196, according to the provisional results.

"The EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters] guys are claiming that the independent guy is their member. They are still young and you simply can't verify the membership of the EFF, but I mean the DA has to ask itself lots of questions," Mashele said.

"The DA doesn't have presence in black communities, which is why you end up with this situation of Tlokwe. When voters look around, they don't see DA on a daily basis being present in their communities."


Mashele said people often sided with independent candidates, many of whom had a history with the ANC, because they had credibility and were not protected by a party.

The Tlokwe by-election came as a result of the unseating of ANC mayor Maphetle Maphetle. He was unseated twice when ANC councillors voted with the opposition to replace him with the DA's Annette Combrink, first in November, and again last month.

The ANC's provincial disciplinary committee expelled the 14 councillors concerned, resulting in them losing their seats.

Matshiqi said the Tlokwe outcome was "interesting".

"If we went with the suggestion that morally the former ANC councillors were correct and took a moral standpoint, it seems the people did not agree or people had other considerations," he said.

"Beyond this point we also need to look at the extent to which internal ANC dynamics are having an impact on by-elections [nationally]."

Mashele said he would be shocked if the ANC attained more than 60% of the vote in next year's national elections.

"My sense is the DA will rise a bit... the DA is going to get a bit from the black middle class, which it will share with Agang SA.

"The guy who is going to make a real dent to the ANC electorate is [Julius] Malema's EFF. He is targeting the youth, the disgruntled."

Read more on:    agang sa  |  da  |  anc  |  iec  |  eff  |  julius malema  |  annette combrink  |  maphetle maphetle  |  mahikeng  |  tlokwe leadership battle  |  politics

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