IEC puts by-elections’ voter turnout at just over 40.6%

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The Independent Electoral Commission has announced that the average voter turnout of yesterday’s by-elections in 14 wards in seven of the country’s provinces stands at just over 40.6%.

In the wards contested, the ANC retained 10 wards and won two – one from the DA in Knysna in the Western Cape and one from the IFP in KwaMaphumulo in KwaZulu-Natal.

The DA retained one ward in the Western Cape’s Dullar Omar Region with the IFP retaining a ward in KwaDukuza in KZN.

Over 90 000 eligible voters cast their ballots in the polls.

The DA’s National Spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube says despite losing Knysna, the overall results have shown that the party is resilient.

“We contested four particular by-elections and we were able to retain very strongly our majority in Cape Town in the Delft area we were able to hold onto our support in the Northern Cape and we put up a good fight in the Beaufort west area however we did lose the Knysna by-election which was due to the fact that we had dismissed a councillor who had demonstrated that they no longer shared the values of the DA of ensuring good governance for the people of Knynsa and while that has been a set-back in our electioneering we know in fact that that is the right thing to do.”

Political analyst Ivor Sarakinsky says the results must be treated with caution, given the average voter turnout of just over 40.6%.

Sarakinsky says they may not be a proper reflection of the reality on the ground.

“One has to look at the actual numbers as a percentage of votes in terms of parties and you’ve got to look at the real number of votes and that will give one a better sense of what is going on so the voter turnouts are in the 50 percentage levels down to the 20s and that means that it is not easy to say that the ANC has done as well as appears from the results dashboard,” he adds.

Yesterday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country’s national Local Government Elections will be held on October 27.

The IEC was expected to brief the media at 4pm on the upcoming local polls.

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