Tlokwe redux: I Just Dropped In (to see what condition my Commission was in)

1 December 2015

Come for the musical puns and stay for the political analysis, that’s always  been the motto and tagline of this blog. But I digress. Thlokwe and the IEC are in a mess.

Here’s a map of Tlokwe with the ward winners, as at the 2011 municipal elections:

Tlokwe ward winners, 2011 elections

Tlokwe ward winners, 2011 elections

There are 52 seats in the council. The ANC held 30 seats (or just under 60 per cent) after the 2011 elections. Note that a party or coalition needs 27 seats to have a clear majority:

Seat allocations in Tlokwe, 2011 elections

Seat allocations in Tlokwe, 2011 elections











A potted history of Tlokwe doesn’t really do justice to the tangled ball of no-confidence votes, ANC councilors voting against their own mayor, and their subsequent mass expulsion from the party. This triggered 11 by-elections in the municipality in less than half a year and led to a short-lived palace coup by a DA-led coalition.

You can get some of the backstory here, here, and here. The ANC successfully defended 10 of its 11 wards, losing Ward 26 to the very ward councilor it expelled, who ran as an independent. The ANC’s majority in council fell to 29 seats, but the party regained control of the municipality.

Except that was not even all, as Corne and Twakkie were wont to say. On Monday, the Constitutional Court found that the IEC had done a super-bad job of running free and fair elections in seven Tlokwe wards.


By-elections will have to be held again in those wards. The table below shows the results of the original by-elections, with the affected  wards highlighted in yellow:

Tlokwe by-elections: past (2013) and future (2016?)

Tlokwe by-elections: past (2013) and future (2016?)










Assuming that the by-elections take place before next year’s general elections, the ANC has got to be worried about Wards 4 and 13. If the IEC is serious about cleaning up dodgy voters’ rolls then the ANC might be worried about Ward 20 also, which saw an astonishing growth of 80 per cent in its voters’ roll – in just two and a half years.

For now, the ANC has 22 legitimate councilors out of a 45-person council. Is the DA about to yank the mayoral chain away from the ANC again?


2 thoughts on “Tlokwe redux: I Just Dropped In (to see what condition my Commission was in)

  1. Gerard Lindner

    Nice pun! As to your last question: quite possibly in the by-election with the support of the rogue independents. As for next years Municipal elections, with Tlokwe to be swallowed up with Ventersdorp into one municipality, unfortunately I think it would be another short-lived affair between Annette Combrink and her allies come the elections in winter… “It turned colder, that’s where it ends, So I told her we’d still be friends”…

    Although… Ventersdorp has a much smaller number of registered voters compared to Tlokwe. Could you crunch the numbers to see how many seats the opposition would need to steal a victory of the larger, merged municipality, in addition to keeping the ANC below 27 seats in Tlokwe? In any case I think any off-chance would have to involve an unlikely coalition between all of the DA, Ex-ANC Independents, EFF and VF+. Just entertain that thought for a few seconds…

    This coalition conundrum may also play out in Tswhane between the DA, VF+ and the EFF as things stand (depending on the EFF’s attractiveness for voters in local elections, VF+ will probably increase it’s share slightly), I think the EFF’s will throw a spanner in the works as far as the opposition parties are concerned. COPE was a much more natural fit. Will the parties be able to set aside national ideological differences to get down to the more administrative roles of managing municipalities and representing council seats? And will such coalitions turn out to be a poisoned chalice for the DA in 2019? I’m probably getting ahead of myself

    1. Admin Post author

      Hi Gerard

      Ventersdorp has 12 seats (six ward, six PR). The ANC has ten seats and the DA has two. Without taking account of ward redemarcations, that’s an eight-seat cushion for the ANC. There have been no by-elections since 2011.

      I’m with you on the coalition story. I see potential in Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane.


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