Lower voter turnout in NMB a result of electorate dissatisfaction: Researcher

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Senior researcher in Democracy and Citizenship at the Human Sciences Research Council, Professor Joleen Steyn-Knotze has attributed the projected lower voter turnout in the hotly-contested Nelson Mandela Bay Metro to the dissatisfaction of the electorate with the current status quo.

Results continue to trickle in across the province and as of 09:00, about 26% of the votes had been captured in the Metro.

Steyn-Knotze says voters no longer feel motivated to participate in elections.

“I do think it’s quite shocking that we are seeing basically a 50% decline from the last local government elections and there are various reasons that could attribute to that. Levels of dissatisfaction with how democracy is working are quite high. Levels of dissatisfaction around the economic climate and the economic direction the country is taking are quite high. So you are sitting with an electorate that I think are so disillusioned that they feel voting is futile,” says Steyn-Knotze.

LGE 2021 | Voter turnout with Prof. Collette Schulz-Herzenberg

Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) are neck-on-neck in the hotly-contested Nelson Mandela Bay Metro while the ANC appears to be cruising in the East London-based Buffalo City Metro.

The EFF is just under 10% while other parties received less than a percent of the vote so far.

As at about 09:00 on Tuesday, the ANC was leading marginally at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality with about 43% of the vote, followed closely by the DA with 36%.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had just under seven percent of the vote. Other parties including the Abantu Integrity Movement, Defenders of the People, Freedom Front Plus (FF+) and Patriot Alliance each had under 2% of the vote so far.

These results however only account for about 26% of the votes captured in that municipality and therefore it is still early days to get an accurate result.

 An update from Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape: