Hey sports fans. There’s been so much info coming in (27 ward results and 19 PR seats) and some of it’s come in later than expected. I’ll try get this report and the Mtubatuba ones out as quickly as possible and then update where it’s needed. So let’s go.
There were 27 ward by-elections on Wednesday and 19 of them were in Mtubatuba. Before the by-elections I did a short preview of the 8 wards that aren’t in Mtubatuba – which you can read here. The table below summarises the before-and-after picture in these wards:
We’ll go quickly through each of the wards – remember that the Mantsopa, Greater Tubatse, Langeberg and Oudtshoorn wards are of particular interest (see the link above). All wards were defended by the incumbents (ANC 7, DA 1).
In the Free State, in Ward 23 of Maluti a Phofung (Qwa-Qwa), the ANC defended a ward it won with 74 per cent in 2011 (Dikwankwetla 14 per cent, PAC 5 per cent, DA 4 percent). The party retained the ward with 80 per cent (APC 20 per cent).
Still in the Free State, the ANC defended Ward 7 in Mantsopa (Ladybrand). The part won the ward in 2011 with just 51 per cent to the DA’s 40 per cent (FF+ 5 per cent, COPE 4 per cent), and retained the ward with 51 per cent to the DA’s 48 per cent.
The ANC just managed to edge out the DA by 881 votes to 829, and even COPE’s 11 votes wouldn’t have helped the challenger. The ANC has successfully defended a number of marginal wards in the Free State in the last few months.
The ANC defended two wards in KwaZulu-Natal (outside of Mtubatuba). In Ingwe (Creighton), in Ward 9, the party received 74 per cent of the vote (NFP 20 per cent, IFP 6 per cent), up from the 72 per cent it received in 2011 (NDP 12 per cent, IFP 8 per cent, DA 7 per cent). In Ward 2 of Ubuhlebezwe (Ixopo) the ANC won 94 per cent (IFP 6 per cent), up from 72 per cent in 2011 (DA 23 per cent).
In Limpopo the ANC defended Ward 18 in Greater Tubatse (Burgersfort). The party won the seat with just 47 per cent in 2011 (the PAC and DA split the opposition vote with 29 per cent and 21 per cent respectively). The ANC retained the seat on Wednesday with even less of the vote – just 42 per cent (an independent candidate won 31 per cent and the DA won 27 per cent).
The independent candidate, Piet Thembisile Mashele, ran under the PAC ticket in 2011 and received 29 per cent of the vote then. Both Mr Mashele and the DA continued to eat into the ANC’s share of the vote, but ended up neutralising each other’s efforts.
In the North West the ANC defended Ward 4 in Mamusa (Schweizer-Reneke). The party won the ward in 2011 with 84 per cent of the vote (PAC 9 per cent, DA 4 per cent) and retained it unopposed.
The ANC and DA each defended a ward in the Western Cape. In Ward 2 of Langeberg (Robertson) the ANC received 51 per cent of the vote (DA 38 per cent, COPE 10 per cent), up from 44 per cent in 2011 (DA 38 per cent, independent candidate 14 per cent). The DA would have wanted the security of an extra ward to pad its razor-thin majority, but its coalition with COPE is stable.
The DA comfortably defended Ward 7 of Oudtshoorn, receiving 80 per cent of the vote (ANC 13 per cent), up from its 64 per cent share in 2011 (ANC 24 per cent). The DA-COPE coalition has underlined its majority in municipal council, holding one seat more than the ANC-led minority coalition (including the Independent Civic Organisation Of South Africa (ICOSA) and the National People’s Party (NPP) ). However, problems in the municipality have been ongoing: the ANC has allegedly ignored a court order against it to relinquish control of the council.
This by-election result is unlikely to be the last word on the governance problems in Oudtshoorn, with the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordhan now being asked to right the good ship Oudtshoorn.
In the end the status quo has prevailed in these eight wards but the elections were not without excitement. The ANC’s defence of three marginal wards still amounted to three close shaves, and the party was saved by the DA/independent splitting of the opposition vote in Greater Tubatse. In the other wards it defended, the party looked much more convincing, improving on its share of the vote in Maluti a Phofung, Ingwe and Ubuhlebezwe.