South Africans went to the polls in eight wards in Wednesday’s by-elections (there were another two ANC wards which were uncontested). Five wards were won by the DA in the 2011 municipal elections and three were won by the ANC.
The DA successfully defended its five wards, including a key ward in Oudtshoorn. The party also won a ward off the ANC in the Drakenstein municipality, increasing its majority in that municipality.
The table below summarises the results of Wednesday’s by-elections:
In the Eastern Cape the ANC retained Ward 8 of Engcobo unopposed.
In the Free State the DA retained Ward 13 of Ngwathe (Parys). The party won the ward in 2011 with 87 per cent of the vote (FF+ 9 per cent, ANC 3 per cent) and retained it on Wednesday with 99 per cent of the vote.
In Gauteng the ANC and DA each defended one ward. In the City of Johannesburg the DA retained Ward 73, increasing its share of the vote from 73 per cent (ANC 25 per cent) to 93 per cent (ANC 6 per cent). In Tshwane the ANC defended Ward 16. The party had won the seat in 2011 with 87 per cent (DA 9 per cent, independent 2 per cent) and it retained it with 77 per cent (DA 23 per cent).
The ANC defended one ward in Mpumalanga: Ward 20 in Nkomazi. The party won the ward in 2011 with 93 per cent (DA 5 per cent, ACDP 1 per cent) and retained the ward with 89 per cent on Wednesday (DA 11 per cent).
In the North West the DA defended Ward 17 in Rustenburg. The party increased its share of the vote from 78 per cent (ANC 19 per cent, FF+ 2 per cent) to 86 per cent (ANC 8 per cent, FF+ 6 per cent). The ANC retained Ward 13 in Matlosana (Klerksdorp) unopposed.
In the Western Cape the DA defended two wards – one very marginal, one very strategic – and won a ward off the ANC.
In Ward 14 in Drakenstein (Paarl), the ANC lost a very marginal seat to the DA. The ANC had won the seat with just 44 per cent in 2011 to the DA’s 42 per cent of the vote. (The NNP, COPE and ACDP split the remainder of the vote.)
On Wednesday, amid a very high turnout, both the ANC and the DA won more votes than each party had in 2011. The DA almost doubled its tally and won 57 per cent of the vote, taking the ward from the ANC.
In Ward 1 of Cape Agulhas (Bredasdorp) the DA managed to hang on to a very marginal ward. The party had won the seat with just 46 per cent in 2011 to the ANC’s 44 per cent. On Wednesday the DA won 51 per cent of the vote to the ANC’s 49 per cent.
If the ANC had won the seat from the DA it would have been able to run the municipality with an absolute majority. The ANC and DA won four seats each in 2011, with the ninth council seat won by an independent. The independent formed a coalition with the ANC. A fifth seat in the nine-seat council would have allowed the ANC to dissolve the coalition.
Incidentally, the party that came third in the ward in 2011 was the National People’s Party (NPP). Its very colourful leader, Badih Chaaban, announced earlier this week that he was leaving politics for good. The NPP’s decision to align itself with the DA in the Oudtshoorn municipality has been just one thrilling installment in the ongoing saga that is Oudtshoorn.
The DA defended Ward 2 in Oudtshoord, falling slightly from 75 per cent (ANC 21 per cent) to 74 per cent (ANC 13 per cent). That’s the fifth ward to be contested in the municipality in just over two years.
This lot of by-elections was an unqualified success for the DA. The party defended two key wards in the Western Cape and won another from the ANC.. The outlook for Oudtshoorn remains cloudy.