By-elections: DA wins ward from Patriotic Alliance in Matzikama, while ANC retains ward in Nelson Mandela Bay

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The DA has won a ward in the Western Cape from the Patriotic Alliance.
The DA has won a ward in the Western Cape from the Patriotic Alliance.
PHOTO: Nelius Rademan/Gallo Images
  • The DA has won a ward from the Patriotic Alliance in the Matzikama municipality in the Western Cape.
  • The party can now govern in Matzikama municipality through a comfortable coalition with the Freedom Front Plus.
  • The popularity of the DA candidate on the ballot ensured the party swept through votes it had previously failed to win over in the 2021 municipal elections.

The DA achieved a strong victory in the Western Cape coastal municipality of Matzikama in Wednesday's by-election, meaning the party could govern comfortably through a coalition with the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus).

The DA won Ward 7 in Matzikama with 62% of the votes, beating the Patriotic Alliance (PA), which previously held the seat following the municipal elections in 2021.

The PA only managed 6% of support in the area.

The by-election result in the municipality means the DA, with its seven seats and the FF Plus' one seat, can govern in a stable coalition without additional support.

ALSO READ | DA not swayed by ANC's decision to 'review' cadre deployment

Elections monitoring expert Wayne Sussman said the election was significant on two fronts. He said it showed that having the right candidate on the ballot was crucial for political parties to win votes.

The 'right candidate'

The election victory also showed how crucial the support of Maskamsig, a small community in Matzikama, was for the DA.

A similar pattern was observed in the Northern Cape, where a former ANC member pulled votes from the ANC, ensuring that the EFF won a ward.

In Matzikama, the DA candidate Christo Boks is a former PA councillor.

He defected to the DA after the PA pulled out of its coalition arrangement with the DA following the municipal elections.

Sussman said Boks' popularity ensured the DA won over critical areas in Matzikama.

"It is clear that if you choose the right candidate, it matters a lot. This candidate is very popular in the community. It was absolutely critical for the DA to win this seat because of the area Maskamsig, which is a poor area, where the vote went from the PA to the DA," Sussman said.

READ | Western Cape Patriotic Alliance members ditch party for DA following fallout

In the Nelson Mandela Bay metro in the Eastern Cape, the ANC kept hold of a ward in KwaNobuhle, with the party obtaining 69% of the vote. The EFF came in second with 17%, while ActionSA obtained 8%.

The ward victory for the ANC in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro is crucial, as the party governs the metro in a coalition.

A loss would have left it vulnerable.

Sussman said the ANC remained popular in KwaNobuhle despite the community experiencing a water crisis.

"The ANC had a convincing hold in Nelson Mandela Bay. It shows that the public in KwaNobuhle is behind the ANC. They reaffirmed their commitment to the party because it got the same results as they did in 2021. Despite the many challenges in that municipality with the water crisis, the voters in KwaNobuhle felt the ANC is still the best party to deal with their challenges.

"The ANC can fill that seat, and it will be harder to pass a motion of no confidence against the mayor, Eugene Johnson," Sussman said.

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