Port Elizabeth – The UDM on Thursday called the loss of the hotly contested Ward 30 in Nelson Mandela Bay a learning curve.
The ANC was set to snatch the Nelson Mandela Bay ward from the UDM, according to IEC results available before noon.
UDM provincial chairperson Thando Mpulu said the loss was "not really a blow, but it’s a message". He said it was an indication of the dynamics involved in local governance.
The UDM won the ward in 2015 by-elections.
Before Wednesday’s elections, a confident UDM regional leader and mayoral candidate Mongameli Bobani said they were going to win the ward and he would have the keys to the city hall after the elections.
But on Thursday by 11.30, the UDM had less than 40% of the votes, and the ANC 57%. Results from some voting stations were still being verified.
Mpulu said that during the by-election last year, traditional ANC voters had protested and turned to the UDM.
"It could be possible in the intervening period that things have changed. Maybe the ANC has come back."
Bobani did not respond to calls seeking comment on Thursday.