FINAL RESULTS | ANC the biggest loser as 5 out of 8 metros are hung

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A voter casts her ballot at a polling station at the Johannesburg Muslim School in Newtown.
A voter casts her ballot at a polling station at the Johannesburg Muslim School in Newtown.
Luca Sola / AFP
  • The results of the 2021 municipal elections were characterised by a massive decline in support for the ANC and the rise of community-based parties.
  • Newcomers ActionSA made an impact on the political landscape, managing to amass significant support, particularly in Johannesburg and Tshwane.
  • The DA and EFF both lost ground and failed to hold on to areas they had previously done well in. 

After three days of counting, the results of the country's eight metros were finalised on Thursday, with the ANC being the biggest loser.

While the DA lost some ground, the ANC's drastically reduced majority puts it in pole position to begin coalition negotiations.

The DA won the City of Cape Town, albeit with a reduced majority.

The party amassed 135 seats, less than the 154 it won in 2016. The ANC retained its official opposition status, albeit with reduced seats, having won 43, a lot less than the 57 it gained in 2016. 

READ | DA-ANC coalitions? Holomisa says Ramaphosa should invite Zille to 'work together'

Of the eight metros, the ANC only controls Mangaung and Buffalo City with outright majorities, while five of the country's metros are hung.


While the ANC retained its majority in Mangaung, it dropped from the 51 seats it got in 2016 to 50. The DA lost one seat, dropping from 27 to 26.

The EFF gained some ground in the ANC stronghold as it received three more seats than it had in 2016. The FF Plus received three more seats, moving from two to five.

Newcomers the Patriotic Alliance (PA) also gained some seats in party leader Gayton McKenzie's home municipality. The party has two seats.

COPE lost the one seat it had managed to hang on to during the 2016 elections, leaving the party unrepresented in council.

Buffalo City

In Buffalo City, the ANC again lost a seat, dropping from 61 to 60, while the DA gained four seats, growing from 20 to 24.

The EFF also made some gains, growing from eight to 13 seats.


Having amassed 49% of the votes in 2016, the ANC has now dropped to 38.19%. Most of its support appears to have been eaten up by new kids on the block ActionSA, who managed to get a respectable 15 seats in the metro.

The DA also saw its gains from 2016 being reversed as it lost 12 seats, dropping from 77 to 65 in the metro.

READ | ANC councillors in uMngeni urged to accept defeat, offered counselling

The EFF, who was kingmakers in Ekurhuleni, moved from 13.57% of the votes in 2016 to 11.23%.


With 100% of votes tallied in Johannesburg, the metro was hung with both the ANC and DA failing to get a majority. Both parties have seen a decline in numbers compared to 2016.

The ANC has 91 seats with 33.60%, a decline of 121 seats in 2016. The DA has 71 with 26.14% of the votes. The party has lost 33 seats from 2016 when it held 104 at 38.41%.

The biggest winner in Johannesburg is ActionSA, with the party securing 44 seats.

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It is the third biggest party in the metro at 16.05%, followed by the EFF which lost one seat from 2016. The red berets have 29 seats and 10.63%. The PA has also made gains, having competed for the first time. It has eight seats, while the IFP has seven and the FF Plus four.


Despite the concerted efforts made by the ANC to win back the capital with an outright majority and the DA trying to retain the metro, both parties failed to gain control of the city.

The ANC received 35% of the votes, while the DA has 32%, meaning a drop for both as they had received 43 and 41%, respectively, in 2016.

Newcomers ActionSA had a decent showing as they it 8.64% of the votes in its first election.

Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality

The DA and ANC both failed to gain majorities in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality. Both will have to tussle over forming a coalition government. The DA attained 39.92%, getting 48 seats. The ANC attained 42 seats with 39.43% of the vote.

Both political parties have seen a decline in support in the metro. The EFF attained two additional seats from six in 2016 to eight. The UDM lost one seat in the metro.

The PA gained one seat, while COPE, the ACDP and FF Plus all have one seat each.


The ANC was dealt a blow in eThekwini, losing of its majority. The ANC has 42.02% and 96 seats.

The party saw a drop from 56.01% in 2016, when it dominated with 126 seats.

The DA has also seen a decline in its seat allocation. The party has 58 seats and 25.62% of the votes. It lost three seats.

The EFF has seen a sharp growth in the city. The red berets have 24 seats up from eight in 2016. It has 10.48% of the vote share and is now the third biggest party eThekwini.

The IFP has also made some inroads with 7.13%, gaining 16 seats, an increase from 10 and 4.2% in 2016.

ActionSA gained four seats in the province, taking 1.9% of the vote share.

Stay updated with News24's latest coverage, opinion and analysis of Elections 2021. Check out results from the previous municipal elections.
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