Ramaphoria swept through Chiawelo yesterday at Hitekani Primary School voting station in Soweto, where President Cyril Ramaphosa cast his vote — and the the ripples were also felt in the backyard of DA leader Mmusi Maimane in Dobsonville.
When the station in Hitekani closed at 9pm last night the ANC had secured a comfortable three-quarter majority, getting more than 75% of the valid votes counted in both the provincial and national ballots.
Ramaphoria refers to the widespread perception that Ramaphosa had the pulling power to arrest the ANC electoral downtrend. More than 70% of the 1973 people registered to vote at the Hitekani station turned up to cast their ballot.
The ANC got a nod of 1098 votes to continue governing Gauteng province, and 1189 for Ramaphosa to keep the keys to the Union Buildings. Maimane’s DA managed a combined total of 142 votes for both national and provincial ballots, eclipsed by Julius Malema’s EFF with a combined total of 5
Ramaphosa’s humility earlier on the day appears to have carried the ANC through — at least in Hitekani — and he will be hoping that the message resonated with voters throughout the country.
“We now know what our weakness are. We know our mistakes and we are sorry,” he said minutes after voting. He went on to urge his party to now “return to addressing the plight of poor people in the country”.
He said the ANC had learnt from its mistakes, which makes it the right party to take South Africa forward. Earlier yesterday Maimane had opted to vote at his childhood home in Dobsonville at the nearby Presbyterian Church voting station.
But unlike Ramphosa, his presence seemingly failed to inspire his neighbours to choose the DA. Just after midnight — after multiple recounts that lasted almost four hours since the station closed — City Press heard from a party agent that the DA had only managed about 120 votes in the national ballot, while the ANC flew high with more than 700 and the EFF a distant second at around 160.
The provincial count was expected to continue throughout the early hours of the morning.
Although the IEC is expected to put up the results outside the voting stations after counting is completed, there was no results sheet at the Presbyterian Church on Thursday morning.