ANC triumphs again in by-elections, while DA loses four wards

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Voting under way in Eldorado Park, Soweto, during the local government by-elections on Wednesday. Picture: Rosetta Msimango
Voting under way in Eldorado Park, Soweto, during the local government by-elections on Wednesday. Picture: Rosetta Msimango

POLITICS


The ANC has continued to set the tone for the upcoming local government elections, retaining 27 of its wards, winning three and losing only one. This totalled 29 of the 40 wards being contested. The DA was again the big loser, shedding four more wards.

Two of the wards were lost in Johannesburg south to the Patriotic Alliance (PA), which is led by Gayton McKenzie. The alliance has been picking up support (mostly among coloured voters) in the past few by-elections.

According to the latest statistics provided by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Thursday, the three leading parties nationally were the ANC (51.9%), the DA (16.37%) and the PA (9.54%).

“Average turnout in the by-elections was 31.94%, with the highest turnout being 36.63% [ward 28 in Mnquma (EC122)] and the lowest being 6.64% [ward 58 in Tshwane metro],” the IEC said.

ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula said the party was humbled by the support it received from voters.

READ: Analysis | ANC NEC just scratching the surface and not dealing with the underlying disease

“The outcomes of the recently held by-elections clearly show that the ANC continues to grow its support across the country. Voters have demonstrated their confidence in the leadership of the ANC by returning it to power in wards it previously won and voting out other parties in many wards,” the ANC announced.

The by-elections – held on Wednesday and Thursday – saw 145 candidates from 29 political parties and eight independents contest 40 wards in seven provinces, with a total of 362 965 registered voters. Fifty-nine (40.69%) of the candidates were men.

Mbalula said the ANC’s performance in the by-elections was proof that the party remained the people’s leading choice.

“As we prepare for the local government elections later in the year, we’ll continue to ensure that our campaign is grounded on humility, commitment to making a better life for all a lived reality and selecting candidates who are rooted in their communities,” he declared.

On Wednesday, IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said the by-elections were proceeding smoothly, with a steady flow of voters to polling stations. No incidents had been reported and party agents were fulfilling their roles in ensuring free and fair elections.

This is an important opportunity for people to elect their political leadership and, in so doing, influence the direction of community development in their wards
IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo

“This is an important opportunity for people to elect their political leadership and, in so doing, influence the direction of community development in their wards,” said Mamabolo.

The DA suffered a political blow in losing two seats to the PA in predominantly coloured communities in Johannesburg and a third one to the ANC. The party, led by John Steenhuisen, also lost another ward to the ANC in the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.

Despite the party’s defeat, however, DA spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube said the results showed that it was “stabilising and moving towards a trajectory of growth”.

She said the party’s performance in Tshwane, where it retained three of its wards, was a sign that voters were “rejecting the chaos and corruption of the ANC”.

“The results of yesterday’s by-elections are a further demonstration that the DA is the most diverse political party in South Africa, with the party growing in a number of communities. Only the DA truly represents the interests of voters from all walks of life,” said Gwarube.

The EFF did not win any wards in these by-elections.


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Mandisa Nyathi 

Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
mandisa.nyathi@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park


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