The Democratic Alliance (DA) is hoping to retain two wards in Nelson Mandela Bay’s northern areas on Wednesday’s by-election.

The seats became vacant when the DA terminated the party membership of the councillors for wards 35 and 37. The councillors, Trevor Louw and Neville Higgins, had been axed for voting with an alliance of African National Congress (ANC), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and United Democratic Movement (UDM) to oust the DA’s Athol Trollip as mayor.

A mere week after the general election, voters in Nelson Mandela Bay are back at the polls. This time to elect councillors for wards 35 and 37 in the metro.

The DA, bolstered by polling the majority votes here last week is keen to retain the wards that would give them 57 spots in the 120 seat council.

The ACDP, COPE and Patriotic Alliance have one seat each and generally vote with the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay. An alliance of the UDM, ANC, EFF and other smaller parties has ousted the DA.

“The Elections are going smoothly, we started yesterday with the special votes, where we had five hundred people and that went well. Today all is going well, the voting stations opened on time and had all the required documents ready on time for people to vote. It’s early morning and we hope it will pick up later today,” says Crosy Bacela who is the regional Electoral officer in the Nelson Mandela metro.

Residents complain of poor service delivery and gang-related crime that’s rife in these neighbourhoods.

The by-election result is expected within 12 hours of polls closing.