The African National Congress is “humbled” at winning 26 of 31 wards in municipal by-elections held this week.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa today said the victory re-affirmed a decision to select candidates residents approved of rather than disregard their preferences.
The party would not take this re-affirmation for granted.
“The ANC and its government under the stewardship of President [Jacob] Zuma will endeavour to improve local government performance to ensure that we continue improving the quality of life of our people and to make South Africa a better place.”
The by-elections took place in the Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, and the Western Cape yesterday.
The 81 candidates represented 12 parties, while two candidates were independent. Five wards were uncontested.
The Democratic Alliance won in four wards and the Inkatha Freedom Party in one.
DA leader Helen Zille said the results of the by-elections showed her party’s momentum was growing.
She said the DA had “staged a significant surge in growth” to win a rural Eastern Cape ward off the ANC, from 33% previously to 52% yesterday.
The ward comprised the towns of Molteno and Sterkstroom.
In the Western Cape, the party attained a 55% majority in Grabouw, the strongest in three years.
Zille said promising growth was shown in two wards in Mooi Mpofana (Mooiriver).
The IFP was also celebrating today after winning a ward in Ulundi in KwaZulu-Natal.
IFP national chairperson Blessed Gwala said the ward had previously been held by the National Freedom Party, and was also home to NFP leader Zanela kaMagwaza-Msibi.
“It certainly is a sweet victory considering all the resources and time that both the NFP and the ANC invested,” said Gwala.
The IFP alleged provincial MECs had used public funds to woo voters in Mooi Mpofana before the by-elections and demanded full disclosure of how much was spent on certain events.