South Africa’s August 3 local elections was seen as one of the most keenly contested polls in recent years.
It pitched the ruling Africa National Congress (ANC) against the leading opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and the thrid force, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) led by former ANC youth leader, Julius Malema.
Results from the Independent Electoral Commission have been trickling in from different parts of the country even as vote counting continues in other places. The polls are seen as a barometer of the ANC’s wider popularity two decades after the end of apartheid.
With 80% of results transmitted, the breakdown looks as follows:
- Africa National Congress (ANC)
Councils won = 85
Seats = 2,291
Votes = over 10.8 million (53.63% support)
- Democratic Alliance (DA)
Councils won = 18
Seats = 771
Votes = over 5.5 million (27.41% support)
- Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)
Councils won = 0
Seats = 163
Votes = over 1.5 million (7.4% support)
[Photo] On the lighter side, if parties were mobile phones
DA vs. ANC in three key battle grounds
Nelson Mandela Bay
ANC leading 43%
IEC projects that 90% of results would be ready by close of day
The IEC is projecting that 90% of the results should be completed by close of day today, whiles the remaining 10% should come in by Friday morning. Local media portal eNCA reports that the IEC cited glitches with scanning equipment in eThekwini.
[Video] IEC Deputy Chairperson Terry Tselane explains the Election Results process
- Once voting is over, the voting station station is turned into a counting station.
- After counting, result slip is sent to municipal office where the information is captured into a system and scanned.
- The scan helps to compare the results using the IEC application.
- Capturing of information is currently underway along with result auditing.
- Political parties have raised some objections. The results would not be announced immediately because they have to give the parties sufficient time to raise their objections with the IEC.
Local media reports DA holding on to lead in Nelson Mandela Bay
The DA is hanging onto its lead in Nelson Mandela Bay with 83% of the result counted and vetted by the IEC.
It has 49% of the vote as against the ANC’s 39% with the EFF still hovering around the 5% mark.
Key battle grounds, Tshwane, Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay
These are three areas that are held by the ANC. The DA and and EFF are looking to eat into the ANC’s numbers.
Election results from 2011 local polls
Tshwane: ANC got 55.3% as against DA’s 38.6%
Johannesburg: ANC got 58.6% as against DA’s 34.6%
Nelson Mandela Bay ANC got 51.9% as against DA’s 40.1%
ANC fails to win in Zuma’s home town of Nkandla
Contrary to earlier reports that the ANC had won in Nkandla, President Zuma’s home district, after collation of final results; the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) have retained the area.
The IFP is the fourth political force behind the ANC, DA and EFF, with 75% of results collated, they have won 5 councils with 222 seats but with 4.3% of support.
Ruling ANC counting their massive gains
The ANC meanwhile have taken to twitter to celebrate its gains in the polls.
- 100% vote count completed in Northern Cape, ANC projects victory with 58.26% of votes 13 councils and 186 seats.
- 58% vote count completed in Limpopo, ANC claims lead with 67.85% of votes counted.
- 69% vote count completed in Mpumalanga, ANC projects lead with 69,69% of votes cast.
- 63% vote count completed in North West, ANC claims lead with 60.59% of votes counted.
- 85% vote count completed in Free State, ANC claims lead with 61.9% of votes counted.
- 60% vote count completed in Kwa-Zulu Natal, ANC claims lead with 56.63% of votes counted.
- 82% vote count completed in Western Cape, ANC claims 104 seats.
ANC (@MYANC) August 4, 2016
EFF celebrates crossing 1.2 million votes mark
This is the first municipal election the EFF is participating in. The party was founded in 2013, two years after the last election in 2011.
They garnered 1,169,259 votes representing 6.35% share of votes in the 2014 general election.
Even though they have yet to win a council, the EFF has managed some 7.55% of support which translates to over 1.3 million votes.
EFF Official Account (@EFFSouthAfrica) August 4, 2016
DA releases statement celebrating gains, leader says ‘people have voted for change’
The main opposition DA has celebrated re-election to run Cape Town, labeling it as an endorsement of its good governance record. In a statement on its website, the party said early results from the IEC, ‘‘bodes well for the DA’s electoral outcomes.’‘
Leader of the pary, Mmusi Maimane, speaking to journalists at the IEC’s results collation center said people had voted for change.
The party also celebrated the improved majority votes in retention of Midvaal, located in the Gauteng municipality.
DA also confirmed fresh successes in Kouga Municipality in the Eastern Cape and the Cape Agulhas Municipality in the Western Cape.
In the Western Cape, the party announced re-election with outright majorities in Bergrivier, Langeberg, and Overstrand.
Poorer townships could swing results of polls, EFF could be kingmakers
Votes expected from the poorer black townships could significantly change the current picture.
Failure of the DA or the ANC to secure an overall lead, would mean that the Economic Freedom Fighters – led by firebrand politician Julius Malema (ex ANC youth leader) could find itself in the position of kingmaker.
With about 64% of ballots counted in the key South African municipality of Nelson Mandela Bay, the main opposition DA has a significant lead at 54% with the ruling ANC trailing with 36%.
The close contest situation is also playing out in Pretoria and Johannesburg, where the two parties are head-to-head according to local media projections.
Police chief lauds ‘incident-free’ process
The high stakes election was characterized by deadly violence in the lead up to August 3, but the voting went peacefully and the Acting National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Kgomotso Phahlane expressed gratitude for the cooperation of the people:
“As the South African Police Service we are very grateful of the executions of our plan. We did communicate our plans to the nation pre-, during- and post- elections.
We committed ourselves to deliver a safe and secure local government elections 2016 and our members did us proud and they delivered that.
We had an incident-free election process. We are grateful to the South Africans who responded positively to our call when we asked them to corporate and work together with the police.”
ANC releases statement on polls, confident of decisive victory
The ruling ANC have released a statement describing the August 3 elections as a ‘resounding success.’
1. They congratulated all South Africans for coming out peacefully to cast their votes.
2. The ANC is encouraged by the results that have come in so far.
Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte said: “We are expecting to do well. Everything we’ve done during our campaigning was speaking directly to the real issues that people are concerned about.”
3. ANC will continue to monitor results coming from the IEC and that they are targeting a decisive victory. “We are confident our people have spoken and reaffirmed that the ANC is the only party that can bring change to South Africa,” the statement concluded.
ANC thanks its supporters, claims 27 of 34 councils so far
“ANC expresses gratitude to all South Africans who voted. ANC thanks South Africa for the trust bestowed on us in 27 of 34 councils completed thus far,” tweet read.
ANC expresses gratitude to all SAns who voted. #ANCThanksSA for the trust bestowed on us in 27 of 34 councils completed thus far— Vote ANC (@MYANC) August 4, 2016
Electoral body, IEC, briefing press
- IEC says 77.8% of results for the polls had been captured.
- In terms of Section 5(1)(n) of the Electoral Commission Act, IEC SouthAfrica must declare results within 7 days after elections.
- IEC deployed 200,000 election officials to oversee conduct of the polls.
- 99% of results from Northern Cape finalized, only outstanding are a few wards in Sol Plaatjie Munic.
- In the Western Cape 84% completed, Eastern Cape almost 80% completed & Free State 74% completed. Mpumalanga 60% of results were completed.
- Both Kwa-Zulu Natal & North West reported 55% complete. Gauteng & Limpopo had completed +- 47%
Opposition DA leads in Nelson Mandela Bay
The leading opposition Democratic Alliance are leading in Nelson Mandela Bay municipality. They have 53% as against the ANC’s 37% with 62% votes counted so far.
Ruling party wins in Jacob Zuma’s town of Nkandla
The ruling ANC wins in Nkandla – the rural area from where President Jacob Zuma comes. The area was hitherto held by the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).
President Jacob Zuma queuing to cast his vote at Ntolwane Primary School in Nkandla. pic.twitter.com/2G6qX7fU9c— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) August 3, 2016
The Democratic Alliance thanks its supporters
Facts worth noting about the local elections
The last local elections (also known a municipal elections) were held in 2011.
Democratic national and provincial elections have taken place every five years starting in 1994.
The country has 9 provinces. They are the Northern Cape, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Free State, Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces.
The largest metropolitan areas are governed by metropolitan municipalities, while the rest of the country is divided into district municipalities, each of which consists of several local municipalities.
South Africa’s local government is currently made up of eight metropolitan municipalities, 44 district municipalities, and 207 local municipalities.
The eight metropolitan municipalities are:
- Buffalo City (East London): 392,021 registered voters
- City of Cape Town: 1,883,592 registered voters
- City of Johannesburg: 2,152,112 registered voters
- City of Tshwane (Pretoria): 1,434,931 registered voters
- Ekurhuleni (East Rand): 1,520,553 registered voters
- Ethekwini (Durban): 1,800,492 registered voters
- Mangaung (Bloemfontein): 393,629 registered voters
- Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth): 580,254 registered voters
These are IEC figures as at September 2015