South Africa

2021 ELECTIONS: GROUND LEVEL RESULTS

DA and ANC retain wards in Khayelitsha, Delft and Mitchells Plain, despite significant swings

Residents of Siqalo informal settlement in Cape Town queue in the late afternoon to vote on 1 November 2021. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Jaco Marais)

The ANC and DA held their wards in Mitchells Plain, Delft and Khayelitsha, but with some significant swings. The results could still be concerning for the parties.

In four wards in Mitchells Plain, Delft and Khayelitsha, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and African National Congress (ANC) mostly retained their majority votes, following voting patterns from 2016. 

Explaining the trend, elections analyst Wayne Sussman said “very few wards changed hands across the country”. Where wards were “overwhelmingly” ANC or DA “it should be expected that they would hold on to power,” said Sussman. 

“Where they’ve lost ground it would be because more and more voters aren’t voting or they’re looking at other parties,” Sussman told Daily Maverick.

This year’s local government elections had the lowest voter turnout, with only 12 million registered voters showing up. In total, 26 million people were registered to vote, translating to a turnout rate of 45.9%.

The low turnout had a significant effect on the results and some parties suffered despite holding their wards.

“If I was the ANC or the DA, I would be very worried if my votes were down by 10%,” said Sussman.

Daily Maverick visited Mitchells Plan, Delft and Khayelitsha weeks before the elections to report on the buildup (see our Ground Level Reports on  Khayelitsha, Delft, Mitchells Plain and another on Mitchells Plain).

Delft

In Ward 13 in Delft, the DA emerged victorious. In 2016, the party got 65% of the vote. This time around it got 48.17%. Ward 13 includes Roosendal, The Hague and parts of Leiden in Delft. 

Farida Ryklief, who runs a feeding scheme, said that she was displeased with the results.

“It’s the same people who haven’t addressed any of the people’s issues in the past five years being voted back into power. I’m disappointed,” said Ryklief.

For the past year, Ryklief has been feeding about 700 people in a ward that has a below 40% employment rate.

“Lots of organisations and people have been complaining that our councillor [Michelle Adonis] isn’t helpful, but now she’s back for another term.”

Adonis had not responded to calls or messages by the time of writing.

Mitchells Plain

About 28km from Cape Town is Ward 99. It consists of Hyde Park in Mitchells Plain and parts of Khayelitsha. The ANC won 67.53% of the vote this year, up from 50% in 2016.

Reacting to the election results, Reva Fortune, a community activist, said: “I’m disappointed because the same people who’ve done nothing in the past five years have won again”. 

Fewer than 50% of the people living in ward 99 are employed. When Daily Maverick visited the area, residents said that many had resorted to collecting scrap to make ends meet.

With long housing waiting lists, a lack of service delivery for informal settlements, high levels of crime and “electricity tariffs that are sky-high”, Fortune said that “the way forward is dark”. 

mitchells plain
Community leader Reva Fortune. (Photo: Karabo Mafolo)

Ward 81 is about 2km from Ward 99. It includes Rocklands. Rocklands is important in South African history because that’s where the United Democratic Front (UDF) was launched in 1983. 

While the DA held Ward 81, there were worrying signs for the party. In 2016, the DA won 90% of the vote. This time around, it dropped to 63.35%. 

Reacting to the DA’s win, pastor Franklin Willams, who was running as an ANC councillor, said that he wasn’t surprised by the outcome. 

“People warned me that it would be difficult for me running as an ANC councillor because of the problems the party has had,” said Williams.

“The people in Mitchells Plain are still upset over what happened during the [Jacob] Zuma era and I can’t blame them. If I could do it again, I wouldn’t have done it under the ANC, but it was a great experience.”

Khayelitsha

Khayelitsha is one of the biggest townships in the Western Cape. In the past year, it’s grabbed headlines over violence, land occupations and service delivery protests.

In Ward 18 which covers Site C, the ANC’s Ntomboxolo Kopman retained her position as the ward councillor. The ANC got 60.45% of the vote, down from 71% in 2016.

Speaking to Daily Maverick, community leader Bathandwa Gali said he wasn’t happy with the outcome.

“The reason people voted for the ANC is because they believe in the party, but they don’t necessarily have faith in Kopman,” said Gali. 

khayelitsha
Ward 18 community leader Bathandwa Gali said he wasn’t happy with the outcome. (Photo: Suné Payne)

Besides that, Gali said that there had been issues with the voter management devices. “Some people said that when they got to the voting station, the voting management devices indicated that they had voted, even though they hadn’t,” said Gali. 

The Electoral Commission of South Africa has acknowledged that there were reported glitches with the voter management devices on election day. DM

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