Category Archives: Data Analysis

Nkandla (LM) by the numbers

29 May 2015

Wowee, but our president and his humble pied–à–terre have been been the focus of all this attention. Here’s a bit more focus, looking at Nkandla the municipality which plays host to Nkandla the family home / compound / homestead / etc. Continue reading

The EFF in Gauteng Part 4: Tshwane

14 April 2015

For the third and final Gauteng metro we’ll take a look at the capital city, Tshwane. Just as in Johannesburg, there are pockets of EFF support dotted around the metro and, just like Johannesburg, there aren’t any easy ward victories for the part. Continue reading

The EFF in Gauteng part 1: red tide on the highveld

6 April 2015

I’m going to look at a series of maps of Gauteng, down to the voting district (VD) level, to show the EFF’s success in the 2014 elections. Support for the party is clustered and ‘lumpy’, as with most other parties.

Based on the 2014 results, the EFF should expect to win a handful of wards in Gauteng in the 2016 municipal elections, and we can examine the implications for municipal councils post-election, particularly in the three metros (Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni).

But the results also raise questions about the composition of the EFF’s support: is it broad-based or is it restricted by language and ethnic identity? And, if the support is only in certain narrow strata, can it grow in time for the elections?

Continue reading

One of these Johannesburg wards is not like the others

17 March 2015

When we think of gerrymandering we think of a deliberate process of manipulation that will benefit some political party. The old Nats definitely fixed the system to win a majority of seats in 1948, 1953 and 1958. There were accusations before the 2011 municipal elections that the ANC and DA were fixing ward boundaries in Gauteng and the Western Cape respectively. The current process of municipal and ward re-demarcation, in preparation for next year’s municipal elections, is dogged by similar accusations.

Could there be such a thing as accidental gerrymandering? Can the machinations of one political party actually end up benefitting another? Have a look at the City of Johannesburg political map to see why I ask this question. Continue reading

The maps that lead to you

12 March 2015

(Please excuse the cheesy Maroon 5 reference; I’m a devotee of terrible puns)

I’m trying to teach myself some new tricks so that I can be better at telling stories with data. I’ve been tinkering with QGIS, a free and open source geographic information system, or GIS. Basically, it’s a fantastic software tool that allows you to do things with maps.

You can get map data from different sources. I am using shapefiles that you can download from the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) website. The MDB is the best source of political maps: maps that show national, provincial, municipal and even ward boundaries.  Continue reading