South Africa

By-Elections: ANC retains 2 safe seats, one a big win, the other a dip

By Wayne Sussman 7 September 2017

The African National Congress (ANC) had momentum in the previous round of by-elections. They were able to wrest a super marginal ward from the Democratic Alliance (DA) in a rural ward in Berg Rivier in the Western Cape, and got over 85% of the vote in a rural ward in Ngqushwa in the Eastern Cape. Now last night the ANC defended two safe seats and will be delighted by their showing in Raymond Mhlaba in the Eastern Cape, and somewhat concerned by the dip in Magareng in the Northern Cape. By WAYNE SUSSMAN.

Ward 2 in Raymond Mhlaba (Niselamanzi Lower Gqumashe near Alice) in the Eastern Cape ANC 90% (87%) Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) 10% (9%)

This ward is a few kilometres from the Alice campus of Fort Hare University. The ANC were able to do even better than they did the last time round by getting a slight increase in their percentage support here to win 90% of the vote here. The EFF will be disappointed with their returns. It was also the second consecutive by election in the Amathole region of the Eastern Cape where the ANC were able to run up the numbers against the EFF. There was a by election in Ngqushwa (Peddie) last month. This was the best result of the night for the ANC. Turn-out was a fair 42%.

Ward 1 in Magareng (Ikhutseng Warrenton) in the Northern Cape ANC 60% (71% ) EFF 37% (19%) Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) 3% (5% *)

This municipality borders the North West province. The ward sits on the other side of the N12 as one slows down for the speed traps when by passing Warrenton on your travels. The ANC were able to retain the seat but will be concerned by the fact that they only got 60% of the vote here last night. The EFF will be delighted by the fact that they almost doubled their percentage support in this ward. They were able to get 42% of the vote at the smaller Rolihlala Primary School voting district. The EFF had struggled in the last few rounds of by elections, but this result will show the party that they can hurt the ANC. This was not a good result for the F4SD. Their candidate stood as an independent last time round and his percentage support fell to 3%. Turnout was a very good 58%.

There will be three by-elections on 20 September. These include the ANC defending a safe seat in Cape Town, and the DA defending another super-marginal ward in Gamagara in the Northern Cape, and a relatively safe seat in Midvaal in Gauteng. DM

  • The F4SD did not contest here in 2016, but their candidate in this by election stood as an independent in 2016.

Photo: Residents queue to vote in Alexandra in Johannesburg in local elections on 18 May 2011. Photo: Kim Ludbrook/(EPA)

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