The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has secured victory in the recent Ward 13 by-election in the Umhlathuze Municipality, resulting in a shared seat allocation of 25 seats each for the IFP and the African National Congress (ANC) in the municipality.
The ward was contested by three parties: the IFP, ANC, and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The IFP, which currently holds governance in the municipality and collaborates with the Democratic Alliance (DA) with their 8 seats, managed to secure a 53% majority of the votes in the by-election.
The Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) electoral officer in KwaZulu-Natal, Ntombifuthi Masinga, provides insights into the by-election’s outcomes.
She notes that voter turnout for the by-election was considerably high compared to the average expected in such contests. In this case, the voter turnout reached 68.85%, contrasting with the 51.26% turnout recorded in the last local government elections.
In a resounding victory, the IFP secured another impressive win by wrestling control of uMhlathuze Ward 13 from the ANC in a by-election held yesterday, Wednesday September 27, 2023.
— Inkatha Freedom Party (@IFP_National) September 28, 2023
What are By-elections
By-elections, like the one held in Ward 13, are elections held between general municipal elections, which take place every five years. They are typically necessitated by various factors, including the failure to declare election results within the specified period, court rulings setting aside council elections, council dissolutions, or ward vacancies due to reasons such as the death, resignation, or expulsion of a ward councillor.
The process for calling a by-election involves consultations between the MEC for Local Government and the Electoral Commission. A notice is then published in the provincial Government Gazette, setting the date for the by-election, which must occur within 90 days of the previous election, a court decision, council dissolution, or the occurrence of a ward vacancy.