South Africa


Left hanging: No outright winners in 66 councils, IEC confirms

The Results Operation Centre ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa's arrival on 4 November 2021 in Tshwane. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Results for 2021 show more than double the number of hung councils than in the 2016 local government elections.

On Thursday evening, Glen Mashinini, chairperson of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), announced that the final results show 66 hung councils. 

A hung council means that none of the parties which were contesting that municipality won an outright majority. This would require parties to form coalitions with other parties or independent candidates so that they can govern the municipality. 

This is more than double the number of hung councils in the 2016 local government elections. It comes after only  12.3 million South Africans, out of 26 million registered voters, went out to vote in the local government elections on Monday, said Mashinini. 

Sy Mamabolo, the IEC’s chief electoral officer, said that this year’s elections were the “most technologically advanced [elections] ever held”. 

For the first time, 30,387 voter management devices (VMDs) were used, which enabled the “strengthening and control of the voting process”, said Mamabolo.  

The devices had a central database of the voters’ roll and allowed the electoral staff to ensure that persons who had voted were unable to vote again at a different voting station. Mamabolo acknowledged that there were problems with the VMDs but did not elaborate on them. However, he said, “The problems experienced with the VMDs shouldn’t lessen our desire to use more technology during elections.” 

Speaking to Daily Maverick’s Carien du Plessis, IEC commissioner Mosotho Moepya said that 240,000 voters had problems with the VMDs.  “About 140,000 [voters] were accounted for and voted. This means about 100,000 people who thought they were on the voters’ roll in their wards and who turned up to vote, couldn’t do so,” wrote Du Plessis. 

Despite these glitches, Mashinini said, the elections were free and fair.  

“We are satisfied that, bar a few incidents, for which we apologise, we have delivered quality elections,” said Mashinini.  

The IEC declared the local government elections free and fair at the Results Operation Centre on 4 November 2021 in Tshwane. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Announcing the results for the metros, Mashinini said that in the City of Cape Town:

  • The DA won with 58.22%.
  • The ANC got 18.63%.
  • The EFF got 4.13%. 

 In Ekurhuleni:

  • The ANC got 38.19%.
  • The DA got 28.72%.
  • The EFF got 13.57%. 

In eThekwini:

  • The ANC got 42.02%.
  • The DA got 25.62%.
  • The EFF got 10.48%. 

In the City of Johannesburg:

  • The ANC got 33.60%.
  • The DA got 26.47%.
  • ActionSA got 16.05%. 

In Mangaung:

  • The ANC got 50.63%.
  • The DA got 25.73%.
  • The EFF got 11.31%. 

In Nelson Mandela Bay:

  • The DA got 39.92%.
  • The ANC got 39.43%.
  • The EFF got 6.40%. 

In Tshwane:

  • The ANC got 34.31%.
  • The DA got 32.34.
  • The EFF got 10.62%. 

Mamabolo said a Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) survey found that 95% of the participants had perceived the elections as free and fair. 

The HSRC surveyed 1,200 voters across the country at different voting stations, and 85% of the survey participants also said that they had confidence in the accuracy of the tallying of their votes. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa congratulated the newly elected councillors. 

“If we are to make this a new and better era [then] we, as leaders, must put aside our differences and work on the interests of the people of South Africa,” he said. DM


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