The ANC was again the biggest winner in the municipal by-elections held countrywide on Wednesday. Of the 24 wards that were up for grabs, the party bagged 17 wards.
The governing party retained 12 wards and managed to claim five new wards – mostly from the Better Residents Association (BRA) – formerly known as the Bushbuckridge Residents Association. It only lost one ward in the Western Cape to Gcobani Ndzongana’s Land Party formed in 2018.
This strong showing by the ANC comes after another dominant performance in last month’s 95-ward by-elections in which the ANC won 70 wards.
The ANC’s major achievement was winning back three wards from this week’s biggest losers, the BRA, which was formed in 2011 by disgruntled former ANC members who felt they were being marginalised.
Its leader Delta Mokoena is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence after being convicted of vigilantism in 2013. Since his arrest, the party has declined in popularity and this week the ANC capitalised on this, winning back the three seats it had lost to the breakaway party.
Matthews Mangani, of the ANC, won back ward 8 in Bushbuckridge Local Municipality he had lost to the BRA in the 2016 municipal elections. It was a resounding victory for Mangani who got 71.85% of the votes compared to the 58.11% which put the BRA in power.
The ANC’s Grinios Sebatane won ward 18, also in the Bushbuckridge, with a strong showing of 84.45% compared to 53.51% won by the BRA four years ago. Selby Malatsie of ward 32 in the same municipality, won it for the ANC with a much slimmer 68.27% margin.
The only blemish for the ANC came in the Western Cape where the party lost ward 12 in the Overstrand Local Municipality in Hermanus to Michael Mhana of the Land Party. Mhana received a slim 56.15% compared to 88.69% that saw the ANC win the ward in 2016.
The DA had a decent showing in the latest round of by-elections as the party retained six wards, losing only two.
The by-elections recorded a low voter turnout of 34.5%.