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Analysis: The new Tshwane and what the post-election picture could look like

Analysis: The new Tshwane and what the post-election picture could look like

The metropolitan area of Tshwane has been redrawn and, incorporating two former separate municipalities, now forms the world’s third largest “city”. Citydex’s PAUL BERKOWITZ analyses the vast mishmash of new boundaries to gaze into the future of what this gigantic complex of wards may look like post-Wednesday.

The DA currently runs the legislative capital of the country, Cape Town, and has been talking up its chances of winning another capital, the administrative one of Tshwane. This Tshwane, to misquote a famous anti-drug campaign, is not your father’s Tshwane. It is a bigger and more complex municipality than the city of 2006.

The former district municipality of Metsweding and its two district municipalities, Nokeng tsa Taemane [Cullinan] and Kungwini [Bronkhorstspruit], are now part of Tshwane. The new Tshwane is the third-largest city in the world now, after New York and Tokyo. In 2006 Tshwane had 76 wards, but when its citizens, old and new, go to the polls on Wednesday they will do so in 105 wards.

The increase in the number of wards is partly due to the incorporation of Metsweding and partly due to new wards being created in the old Tshwane. Population and household growth in the metros are among the highest in the country, and new wards are split off from old ones as the population of registered voters grows. Each of the wards in the new Tshwane has a registered voters’ roll of about 12,000.

Seats by party in 2006

There were 96 wards between the three municipalities in 2006 and there will be 105 after Wednesday. There will be a total of 209 or 210 councillors in the new municipality, compared to 191 across the three municipalities before.

The wards seats are essentially a two-horse race. The ANC won 67 to the DA’s 29 in 2006. There were a handful of wards in 2006 where independent candidates made a solid showing without seriously threatening the winning candidates – for example, receiving about 1,000 votes to the ANC or DA’s 3 000.

The distribution of PR seats was more diverse. The ANC held 46 seats in 2006 to the DA’s 26. The FF+ had nine, the ACDP five, the PAC three, and the African-Christian Alliance, Azapo, Christian Democratic Party, ID, IFP, and UCDP each held one seat.

New and old wards

The growth in the number of wards is complicated by a comprehensive redrawing of ward boundaries in the former Metsweding area. The six wards of Nokeng tsa Taemane have been collapsed into four-and-a-half wards, and the 14 wards of Kungwini have been collapsed into five-and-a-half wards (the other halves in both cases are located in the “old” Tshwane).

The redrawing of the ward boundaries in Nokeng tsa Taemane favours the ANC. The two wards won by the DA in this municipality, former wards 2 and 4, are now parts of wards 99 and 100. These wards are much bigger and include the ANC strongholds of former wards 1, 3 and 6.

In Kungwini, it is a mixed bag. The DA won wards 1, 2 and 14 in 2006. Ward 1, a potential swing ward, is now part of ward 91 and includes a piece of ward 47 from the old Tshwane. This ward was a DA stronghold and the new ward should be won by the DA. Ward 2, a strong DA ward, has been amalgamated with Ward 3, a strong ANC ward, to form Ward 101. This ward should be closely contested.  Ward 14 is a potential swing ward and this has been broken into two and combined with wards where the ANC has been strong historically. On the other hand, former wards 8 to 13, all ANC strongholds, have been collapsed from six wards into just two (wards 103 and 104), so the ANC is effectively losing up to four wards through the process.

In Tshwane, most of the redrawing of ward boundaries is due to registered voter population growth, and the results are again a mixed bag:

Parts of wards 13 and 14 have been combined to form Ward 95. Parts of wards 37 and 39 have become wards 89 and 90. Part of Ward 48 is now Ward 77. All of these old wards were ANC strongholds in 2006. This will obviously favour the ANC.
Parts of wards 57, 64 and 69 are now Ward 78. Parts of wards 42, 45, 47 and 65 are now Ward 79. Parts of wards 41, 43, 52 and 53 are now Ward 84. Parts of wards 5 and 59 are now Ward 96. These were all DA strongholds, except for wards 43 and 59, which were won by the DA with a narrow margin. These developments should favour the DA. In addition, the old Ward 73, an ANC stronghold, has disappeared.

Predictions and assumptions

Tshwane is a very difficult municipality to call, as evidenced by the extensive changes described above. We’ll have a go at it anyway. We base our predictions on a number of assumptions and observed trends:

The race for the metro will continue to narrow to a two-horse race. Based on the poor showing of the smaller parties (ACDP, FF+, ID, IFP, PAC, UDM) in 2009, power will be consolidated by the ANC and DA.

The DA, having lost a big chunk of votes to Cope in 2009 will recover most of these voters. The ANC’s voting numbers will grow modestly. Cope’s presence in 2009 didn’t appear to affect the ANC.

There will be few surprises. The new wards (some of them described above) will be won by the incumbent parties. The DA may pick up a handful of swing wards formerly held by the ANC (as many as five). DM

Based on the above assumptions, we predict the composition of the new Tshwane council of 209 seats will look something like this:

ANC:     116 seats (56%)

DA:      72 seats (34%)

Cope:       7 seats (3%)

FF+:       5 seats (2%)

ACDP:       3 seats (1%)

Indies:       2 seats     (1%)

PAC:       2 seats (1%)

ID / IFP:       I seat each

Citydex, a part of Empowerdex, was formed in 2009 and specialises in municipal government: analysis, research, consulting to individual municipalities. We help municipalities with everything from compliance issues to process engineering to local economic development.

Photo: The Union building is seen behind the city of Pretoria November 24, 2009. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibek.


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