2019 Elections: Results Analysis

Gauteng: The powerhouse province that humbled the ANC and DA

By Ferial Haffajee 11 May 2019
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Photo: Adobestock

Gauteng voters delivered smackdowns to the governing ANC (returning it with a razor-slim majority of 50.19%) and to the opposition DA, which received only 27.45% of votes cast, missing its key election goal of forming a government in Gauteng by a mile. Voters rolled out the red carpet for the EFF, which won 14.68% of the provincial vote, followed by the Freedom Front Plus, which took 3.56%.

The five million voters who did not register or turn out saw both the ANC and DA’s hopes crumble. While the ANC has won Gauteng, the lean majority is a loud message from its supporters in a province which is home to the party’s popular President Cyril Ramaphosa and to a large section of its Cabinet members.

The ANC campaign leader, Lebogang Maile, said the party had faced a tough crowd in Gauteng where voters had more choice.

We are not entitled to anything. We must be humbled that we can govern (without a coalition).” Maile said he was pleased the ANC had gained ground from 2016 when the party received 45% in the province in the local government elections. Using a chicken analogy, he said that voters in Gauteng had options that ranged from Chicken Licken to KFC and Nando’s with lots in between.

The ANC lost support to the EFF, which won a stonking 14.68% of the vote. Moshe Koma, the EFF’s Gauteng provincial secretary, said that the province had returned the highest number of votes to the party’s national tally: 633,400 residents in Gauteng came out for its uncompromising positions on land, jobs and radical redistribution. Asked what positions the party would push, he said:

Of course it has to be land. Jobs for unemployed youth. The insourcing of security guards (and other outsourced workers).

Sitting in the DA section, party provincial committee leader Khume Ramulifhe looked crestfallen.

I am disappointed. We have many registered voters who did not turn out and three million voters who did not register.” The DA not only did not make its target of being able to be the lead partner in forming a coalition government, but it also lost three seats.

Ramulifhe said the party had lost seats in “the peripherals” – peri-urban areas such as Midvaal, Merafong and Pretoria, where its Afrikaans supporters who owned smallholdings and farms moved support to the FF Plus with its message of “Slaan Terug” (Fight Back).

We failed to sustain support (from the 2016 local government election).”

He said the party would have to reflect deeply on the election outcome, but like most DA leaders he did not think party leader Mmusi Maimane would walk the plank despite the party not making a single one of the big goals it had set itself for the 2019 national and provincial elections. He said Maimane’s position was safe until the party’s next congress in 2021. DM

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