The last round of by-elections for the year was held on Wednesday. Only three wards were contested, two ANC wards and a DA ward.
In KwaZulu-Natal, in Ward 10 of Vulamehlo (Dududu) the ANC defended another seat. The party won the ward in 2011 with 82 per cent (NFP 11 per cent, IFP 5 per cent, ACDP 2 per cent. The ANC retained the seat with 83 per cent of the vote while the IFP (10 per cent) nosed ahead of the NFP (7 per cent) into second place.
The IFP added another 43 votes to its tally, increasing from 121 to 164, as the voter turnout fell from 62 per cent to 25 per cent.
In the Western Cape, in Ward 101 in the City of Cape Town metro (the eastern end of Kraaifontein, on the border of Stellenbosch) the ANC successfully retained its seat. The party won the ward in 2011 with 94 per cent of the vote (DA 4 per cent, UDM and UIF 1 per cent each) and retained the seat on Wednesday with 90 per cent of the vote. The DA picked up the other 10 per cent, and the party will be pleased to see the votes cast for it rising from 340 to 415 even as voter turnout fell from 64 per cent to 46 per cent.
In the municipality of Oudtshoorn the DA defended the ward that it had won off the ANC back in August 2013. The ANC had originally won Ward 13 with 49 per cent to the DA’s 34 per cent (ICOSA 10 per cent, ACDP / COPE / NPP 2 per cent each).
In 2013 the DA took the ward with 54 per cent of the vote to the ANC’s 49 per cent. On Wednesday the DA extended its lead to 57 per cent. The ANC only won 22 per cent of the vote, with three new parties (the South African Religion Civic Organisation, the Unemployed Peoples Association and the Ward Democratic Forum) splitting the remainder.
The DA’s win on Wednesday (and even the one back in August 2013) has turned out to be largely academic, as the municipality has been pretty much ungovernable for the last couple of years. It’s now under provincial administration with the local government MEC describing Oudtshoorn as ‘in financial disarray’.
Oudtshoorn is likely to remain under financial administration during next year’s municipal elections, and maybe beyond then. The next by-elections will be held on 20 January 2016.