East Rand wards (in a Western town in a dead-end world)

19 March 2015
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Today’s blog post looks at voting patterns in the Ekurhuleni metro (and the music pun is courtesy of a famous London pop duo). I’m trying to add something new as I go along, so we’ll be looking at 2011 ward results again, but also at how safe each ward is for the party that won it. I’ve written previously on Ekurhuleni over at the Daily Maverick where I focused on the historical patterns of proportional representation (PR) voting. That article was written just before the 2011 elections, and the result of those elections is summarised in the table below:

Ekurhuleni 2011 voting breakdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two of the parties mentioned in the 2011 article retained some seats in 2011: the Independent Ratepayers Association of South Africa (IRASA) and the Displacees Ratepayers Association (DRA) each won one PR seat. The ward seats were all won by the ANC and the DA, in line with the national trend.

The ANC have a firm grip on the metro for now. The party will have to lose more than 23 council seats in next year’s elections in order to lose its absolute majority.

If you’re from out of town, here’s where Ekurhuleni lies on the map, on the eastern side of Gauteng. The metro is known colloquially as the East Rand:

Gauteng and Ekurhuleni metro

Gauteng and Ekurhuleni metro

The map below shows which wards were won by the ANC and the DA in 2011, and also shows the margin of victory in each ward:

Ekurhuleni ward map

DA wards are still coloured in blue, but I’ve used three different shades to reflect whether a DA ward is safe for the party (dark blue) , slightly at risk (blue) or at risk of being lost (light blue). Similarly, ANC wards are coloured green in three different shades: dark green for safe ANC wards, green for slightly at risk wards, and light green for wards that are at risk of being lost.

(I’m using green for ANC wards in this post, compared with the yellow of previous posts. It’s harder to differentiate between different shades of yellow than it is between shades of another colour. Let me know if you have any opinions on the colour scheme.)

The parties’ strongholds follow the same pattern: the ANC is strongest in the townships and the DA in the former white suburbs. Spatially, the old formal part of the metro is in the middle of the municipality with both the N12 and N17 running east-west through it. This is mostly DA country with the odd ANC ward – for example, the townships of Actonville, Wattville and Tamboville that lie between Boksburg and Brakpan.

The ANC’s strongholds are in the townships to the south-west (Vosloorus, Thokoza and Katlehong), Tembisa in the north-west, and Daveyton and Tsakane in the east.

There are five ANC wards and two DA wards where the incumbent party won the ward with less than 50% of the vote in 2011. These wards are almost all in the centre of the metro. A few wards have been contested in by-elections since 2011. Most of these have been DA wards, and the party has improved its share of the vote in almost every by-election. No wards have changed hands in by-elections.

Ekurhuleni is the safest Gauteng metro for the ANC; the party enjoys the largest share of the vote here compared with Johannesburg and Tshwane.

 

 

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