The ANC has won the election, but the governing party has lost support in at least 62% of the local and metropolitan municipalities it contested in 2006.
A comparison by City Press of this year’s election results and those of 2006 reveals that:
» KwaZulu-Natal is the ruling party’s new heartland after it secured a massive voter turnout and raised its support from 2.4 million votes in 2006 to 4.2 million this year;
» The ANC’s support base in Eastern Cape has declined significantly. Out of the 34 municipalities analysed, the party only managed to increase its support in three;
» In Free State, Northern Cape and Western Cape, the ANC’s support shrank by five percentage points or more; and
» The DA has strenghtened its support in 78% of the municipalities it contested in 2006, growing by a massive 17.8 percentage points in Western Cape.
On Friday, DA leader Helen Zille told City Press that her party was preparing to govern South Africa after the 2019 national election, by which time “in all probability” it would be led by a black leader.
Final election results declared yesterday showed that while the ANC’s support in all nine provinces has declined, the DA grew in all.
Although ANC leaders have been putting on party faces in public, backroom operators were hard at work trying to figure out what caused the party’s national support to drop from more than 66% to 62% in this election.
If it wasn’t for a steep climb in KwaZulu-Natal, the ruling party could have dipped below 60%.
Together, the ANC and IFP breakaway leader Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi’s National Freedom Party (NFP) obliterated the IFP’s stronghold on municipalities in the province.
The IFP’s support in KwaZulu-Natal fell by 21 percentage points – from 38% in 2006 to 17% this year.
The ANC went up from 47% to 56%, and the newly-formed NFP managed to pull 11% of the vote in its first election.
On its own, the ANC will govern the majority of municipalities in KZN.
It is further expected that the party will govern in coalition with the NFP in a number of Zululand municipalities, leaving the IFP with negligible power.
But outside KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC did not make major inroads into any other province, particularly losing popular support in the three Cape provinces.
If the ruling party’s KZN results are omitted from the equation, the percentage of municipalities where the party shed votes goes up to 79%.
If the same equation is applied to the DA’s results, the party showed growth of 89% in municipalities (excluding KwaZulu-Natal), and saw a drop in support in only 11% of municipalities.
The ANC is in trouble in Eastern Cape, where it has lost 8.3 percentage points, when compared to its 2006 result.
The party’s biggest drop in the province was in Nelson Mandela Bay, where its support declined by 15.2 percentage points to 52%.
The drop was one of the ruling party’s 10 worst in the country. The rest of this list is dominated by municipalities in Western Cape and Northern Cape
Interestingly, the ANC’s 11th biggest percentage drop was in former president Thabo Mbeki’s hometown Idutywa – from 83.9% in 2006 to 70.2% this week.
Zille said on Friday that 20% of the DA’s voters were now black.
Apart from Western Cape, where the party has firmly consolidated its rule, the DA also improved its performance in Northern Cape (by 8.25 percentage points), North West (+7.46), Free State (+6.84) and Gauteng (+6.65).
The party managed for the first time to win predominantly black wards in places like Emakhazeni (Belfast) in Mpumalanga; and Missionvale township and Joe Slovo settlement in Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth); and wards in Ekurhuleni and Tshwane, both in Gauteng.
At a press briefing on Friday, Zille said the DA had taken at least 133 wards from the ANC and had only lost five to the ruling party.
The only municipality in which both the ANC and DA saw a drop in support was Prince Albert in Western Cape, where the new Karoo Gemeenskapsparty won.