The African National Congress (ANC) has taken the lion’s share of the 95 municipal wards that were contested in Wednesday’s by-election. The IEC on Thursday announced the election results at its headquarters in Centurion, north of Johannesburg.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has proven to be the biggest loser with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which had nothing to lose, failing to secure a single ward. A handful of smaller parties did however manage to make inroads into a number of wards.
By-elections 2020 | Looking at the performance of smaller parties
“The ANC retained 64 wards, lost two wards and won six new wards. The DA retained 14 wards lost nine wards and won two new wards. The IFP retained four wards, won one new ward; the Patriotic Alliance won one new ward; the Good Party won one new ward; AlJama won one new ward; the VF Plus won one new ward,” says IEC vice chairperson Janet Love, giving an overview of the results.
The ANC recorded its biggest wins in the provinces of Gauteng, the Northern Cape and North West. It did not perform as well in KwaZulu-Natal retaining just three of the 12 contested wards and losing the ward in Nkandla to the Inkatha Freedom Party.
By-elections 2020 | IFP snatches Nkandla from ANC
In the Western Cape, the ANC retained 2 of the 11 wards contested, but failed to pick up a single new ward.
“In Gauteng, of the 14 wards contested, the ANC retained 10 seats and won two seats from the DA. In the North West, of the six wards that were contested, the ANC retained four seats and won one seat from the DA. In the Northern Cape, of the 20 wards that were contested, the ANC retained 17 seats and won two seats from the DA,” added Love.
In Limpopo, the ANC retained all of the four contested wards, in the Eastern Cape it retained 18 of the 19 wards, losing just one ward to the DA.
In the Free State, it gained three of four wards and in Mpumalanga it took three of the five wards.
It was a different picture for the DA, however, which lost nine wards continuing its decline in support as recorded in the 2019 national elections. In its stronghold of the Western Cape, the party retained eight of the eleven wards contested, but lost one to newcomer, the Good Party. Its worst performance was in the provinces of Gauteng, North West and Northern Cape although it did manage to pick up a ward in the Eastern Cape and the Free State.
“In Gauteng, of the 14 wards contested, the ANC retained 10 seats and won two from the DA. AlJama won one seat from the DA as did the Patrirotic Alliance. In the North West, of the six wards contested, the ANC retained four seats and won one seat from the DA and the FF Plus won one seat from the DA. In the Northern Cape, of the 20 wards contested, the ANC retained 17 seats and won 2 seats from the DA,” says Love.
The Economic Freedom Fighters, which had no wards to lose, again failed to wrestle a single one from the opposition.
Meanwhile, the IEC says it is encouraged by the turnout of voters of just under 38% across the country. Love says the highest turnout was recorded in Ward 4 of Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape of over 75%.
“Given that these were the first elections conducted under COVID-19 that the election day was a normal day and given the inclement weather across the country, especially in KwaZulu-Natal, the success of these elections bodes well for the upcoming municipal elections scheduled for 2021,” says Love.
By-elections 2020 | The overall turnout in by-elections was 37,38% nationally
Love says the disruption of voting in a ward in Naledi, Soweto, and the Amahlati Muncipality in Eastern Cape by service delivery protesters was unacceptable.
“The commission supports the right of communities to protest peacefully but only in a manner that does not infringe on the right of citizens to vote and voice their views through democratic processes. The commission is grateful to the swift intervention of SAPS and intervention by the community and political leaders to resolve these situations. The commission calls on the South African Police Services to take decisive action against anyone whose actions impeded the holding of free and fair elections.”
The IEC says it is happy with the compliance by voters with COVID-19 safety measures and says this bodes well for the holding of future by-elections and local government elections next year.
Announcement of by-election results: