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AUGUST BY-ELECTIONS

ANC chalks up commanding Eastern Cape victories, DA romps home in Bryanston

ANC chalks up commanding Eastern Cape victories, DA romps home in Bryanston
From left: A woman leaves a voting station in Johannesburg, South Africa on 1 November 2021. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed) | Voters wait in line in Bloemfonten on 1 November 2021. (Photo:Lihlumelo Toyana) | A general view of a citizen casting their vote on November 01, 2021 in Lamontville, Durban, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images/Darren Stewart) | A general view of a ward ballot sheet station during the 2021 South African municipal elections on November 01, 2021 in Sebokeng, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo) | A general view of voters during the local government elections in the Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha). (Photo: Deon Ferreira) | A voter displays his inked thumb at Tumelo Primary School voting station in Meadowlands during the 2021 South African municipal elections on November 01, 2021 in Soweto, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images/Papi Morake)

The ANC retained all four of the wards it was defending, including three in the Chris Hani district of the Eastern Cape. The DA held its ward in Johannesburg in a low-key round of by-elections.

Ward 102 (Bryanston Bordeaux), City of Johannesburg: DA 94% (71%) ANC 3% (7%) EFF 2% (4%) OHM 1% (<1%)

 

The setting: The colossal Ward 102 occupies much of the Randburg part of Johannesburg and includes the well-heeled suburb of Bryanston. St Stithians College falls in this ward which also includes the suburbs of Bordeaux, Fontainebleau, Blairgowrie and Lyme Park. There are more registered voters in this ward then all the other wards combined in this round of by-elections. 

The 2021 local government elections: The DA was less dominant here compared with previous elections. It won 84% of the vote in the ward in 2016. In 2021 it lost 13% support compared with 2016. ActionSA received 13% to finish second. The DA won Bryanston, Blairgowrie, Fontainebleau and Lyme Park (St Stithians) by a landslide. Bordeaux was the most competitive as both ActionSA and the ANC got into the double figures here, with ActionSA getting 16% of the vote. The DA managed only 55% in Bordeaux. Bordeaux had the lowest percentage turnout in the elections. 

The by-election: The relatively well-known councillor David Potter resigned. Exasperation was one of the reasons given. Potter said he and many of his fellow councillors were “at the end of their tether”, and that the city is “likely too far gone”. ActionSA decided not to contest the by-election. There are bigger elections on the horizon. With ActionSA, the Freedom Front Plus, Rise Mzansi and Build One South Africa not on the ballot, it would be harder to gauge how resilient the DA is in this ward. This is also the first by-election in Johannesburg for the DA since it suffered the setback of its candidate abandoning the Ward 7 by-election in Ennerdale in the deep south of Johannesburg. 

Read more in Daily Maverick about why Potter quit: Departing Joburg councillor’s cry for his beloved, broken city 

The DA romped home in the by-election, with 98% of the vote in Bryanston, and also obtained 97% in Blairgowrie and Lyme Park (St Stithians)

Bordeaux was where the ANC performed best in 2021. It received 13% of the vote in the local government elections, and 12% here in the by-election. The DA grew from 55% to 82%, and got 9% more than the combined DA, ActionSA and Freedom Front total percentage in the district in 2021. Turnout was again lowest in the ward in the Bordeaux district, with only 10% of registered voters showing up. 

The poll: 17% (52%). Turnout tends to be in the low- to mid-20% levels for Johannesburg by-elections. The turnout here was especially low. 

Chris Hani District, Eastern Cape

The setting: This is a large district which includes six municipalities in the heart of the Eastern Cape. It extends past Engcobo to Middelburg. Komani, Cradock and Cofimvaba are also in the district. The ANC won more than 70% of the vote in the district, above its 63% average for the Eastern Cape province. No other party got into double figures, with the DA edging the EFF for second place in the district. 

Ward 25 (Nomonde Molteno) in Enoch Mgijima, Chris Hani: ANC 66% (52%) Independent-Lose 23% EFF 8% (8%) The Independents 2% (25%)

 

The setting: Ward 25 in Molteno is one of the coldest parts of the country. The town in the Stormberg Mountains blessed South Africa with Ouma Rusks and the Molteno clock tower features on the label of Borstol cough syrup. Ambrose Lomax, the pharmacist who created Borstol, trademarked the clock tower as his logo. Nomonde is the largest township in Molteno. The ward also includes the small coloured community of Dennekruin. 

Molteno forms part of the vast Enoch Mgijima municipality. Its seat of power is Komani (formerly Queenstown). It also encompasses Hofmeyr, Tarkastad, Whittlesea and Ngquzubomvu (formerly Sterkstroom).

The local government elections: The ANC beat the nearest challenger by a margin greater than two votes to one. The nearest challenger was a local party called The Independents. It was founded by Twizza owner and Komani businessman Ken Clark. The ANC came first and The Independents second in all three Nomonde voting districts. The Patriotic Alliance (PA) won the Dennekruin voting district, with the DA coming second there. The ANC won 78% of the vote in the ward in 2016. The decline of support in 2021 was by 26% percentage points. The Independents’ 25% is a neat explanation of where a chunk of their support went in 2021. Across the municipality, the ANC was hurt by The Independents and also independent candidates. Its loss of support was more pronounced in Nomonde than the rest of the municipality.

The by-election: The previous councillor passed away. The ANC, The Independents and the EFF were joined on the ballot by an independent candidate. The municipality has been beset by service delivery protests, most of which have taken place in Komani. But the anger on the streets of Komani did not extend to the ballot box. In late 2022 the ANC won a vacant seat formerly held by an independent councillor. The party would have hoped to regain lost ground from 2021 in this by-election.

Read more in Daily Maverick: ANC weathers Mangaung challenge, PA makes inroads in George as IFP exerts dominance in KZN wards

The ANC won just under two-thirds of the vote in a commanding victory. It swept all four voting districts including Dennekruin. The Dennekruin result was especially encouraging as the absence of the PA and the DA on the ballot did not have a big impact on voter turnout – 45% compared with 53% in 2021. The ANC surged from 18% to 74%. Most votes in the by-election were cast at the African Episcopal Church district in Nomonde. The ANC went from 53% to 74%, with The Independents’ support plummeting from 36%  to 2%. Solomzi Lose, the independent, garnered 20% of the vote. Lose did best at the Joe Slovo Freedom High School voting district in Nomonde, getting an impressive 32% of the vote. Lose finished in second place in the ward, well ahead of the two more established parties. 

The Independents will be especially concerned with their poor showing. The party caused a stir in Enoch Mgijima in 2021. This result is a setback for them. 

Poll: 42% (42%)

Dr AB Xuma Municipality

Dr Alfred Bitini Xuma was a remarkable South African. He was the first black South African to qualify as a medical doctor. He was also elected president-general of the ANC in 1940. This municipality is the new name for the Engcobo municipality. Opposition parties would hope that the new name will improve their chances in this municipality. This is the municipality where the ANC was most dominant in the Eastern Cape in 2021, and where it was the second-most dominant nationwide in 2021. It won more than 82% of the vote. The municipality is set around Engcobo, and includes many sparsely populated villages around it. Engcobo is on the R61 regional road between Cofimvaba and Mthatha. 

Ward 8 (Lucwecwe Mazangweni) Dr AB Xuma in Chris Hani: ANC 89% (90%) EFF 11% (4%)

 

The setting: This is a rural area west of Engcobo. It includes the small villages of Lucwecwe, Mazangweni and Bojane. It sits above the R61 regional road.

The 2021 local government elections: The ANC won 90% of the vote here. It won more than 96% of the vote in half the voting districts, including 98% at the Hargreaves Primary School district. 

The ANC won 32/39 seats in the municipality, losing one seat. Its nearest rivals were the EFF and the United Democratic Movement which won two seats each.

The by-election: The by-election took place because of a resignation. The EFF was the only party brave enough to take on the ANC in the by-election. 

The ANC all but matched its 2021 percentage vote share in a dominant win. However, all the growth in this result went to the EFF. The EFF’s best haul was 28% in Bojane, well up from the 10% the party received in 2021. The Hargreaves Primary School district was again where the ANC fared best, matching its 98% total from 2021. 

Poll: 35% (49%)

Ward 12 (Gqutyini Mkanzi) Dr AB Xuma in Chris Hani: ANC 89% (90%) EFF 11% (4%)

 

The setting: Ward 12 is similar to Ward 8. It is also centred on sparsely populated villages west of Engcobo. However, it also includes voting stations northwest of Engcobo. The villages of Gqutyini, Mkanzi, Tshatshu and Mntuntloni fall into Ward 12. 

The 2021 local government elections: The ANC also won 90% of the vote here. It received 90% in six of the seven voting districts. The EFF was the second-most popular party with 4%.

The by-election: The councillor’s resignation was the reason for this by-election. The ANC only found one dance partner for this duel. The red berets joined the ANC on the ballot.

This was the same result as in Ward 8, but turnout was slightly higher in Ward 12. The ANC won 98% of the vote in three out of seven voting districts and 97% in another district. The EFF’s growth in the ward was primarily at Jongobuhle Primary School in Mkanzi where it went from 7% to 30%. It also won 20% of the vote at Gwarubana Secondary School in Mkanzi. The EFF did not get into any percentage double figures in the ward districts in 2021. It will welcome this growth in two of the seven districts. 

Turnout: 39% (49%)

North West

Ward 25 (Bapong Bokfontein) Madibeng in Bojanala: ANC 67% (46%) EFF 30% (24%) Save Madibeng 3% (3%)

 

Madibeng is the second-most populous municipality in North West. Its seat of power is the town of Brits. It also includes Hartbeespoort, Jericho, Mooinooi and Broederstroom. It forms part of the Bojanala District where Rustenburg sits. This is the heart of the platinum belt. 

Ward 25 is southwest of Brits. It straddles the N4 national road. Bapong is about 20km from Brits. The community here is mainly dependent on work from the nearby mines. Bokfontein is a more rural area, south of Brits. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: PA benefits from absent DA to trounce ANC in Joburg ward, but ruling party records crucial win over IFP in KZN

The 2021 local government elections: The ANC beat the EFF by a margin of almost two votes to one. The DA pipped the FF+ to third place, saved by pockets of support in Bapong. The FF+ was the most popular party among white voters in the ward. The ward also has a voting district of predominantly Indian voters called Primindia. The DA edged the ANC here with the FF+ also in the running. 

The ANC won the ward by getting handsome returns in Bapong. The EFF ran it very close in Bokfontein. 

The ANC retained its outright majority in Madibeng. It lost two seats to finish on 44. The support it lost went mainly to Save Madibeng which obtained three seats. The EFF became the official opposition as it matched its 14-seat haul from 2016. The DA lost three seats to finish on 12. The FF+ was the main beneficiary here, growing from two seats to four. 

The by-election: The previous ward councillor died after a long illness. The ANC, the EFF and Save Madibeng threw their hats into the ring for this by-election. It would be interesting to see whether Save Madibeng, a left-leaning party, could attract DA, FF+ and Al Jama-ah voters in the ward, or whether the Al Jama-ah voters would flock to the ANC. Turnout differential was expected to be a factor in this election, with neither the DA or the FF+ on the ballot. The EFF was hoping a post-10th anniversary rally bash in this ward.

Most of the growth in this by-election went to the ANC. The party will be especially pleased with the Bokfontein bounty. Most votes in the by-election were cast in this district. Here the ANC went from 52% to 70% and the EFF shrunk from 45% to 30%. There were also big returns for the ANC at Tlhogokgolo Primary School in Bapong, with an increase from 66% to 84%. Save Madibeng lost out here, falling from 13% to 2%. 

The EFF received 39% of the vote in two of eight voting districts. It won more than 30% of the vote in five out of eight districts. 

Save Madibeng had a poor outing. It did, however, win the Laer Skool Brits district with 73% of the vote. The challenge was that only 2% of registered voters turned up here as the absence of the FF+ and the DA on the ballot hurt turnout.

At Primindia Hall in Primindia, only 10% of registered voters showed up. The ANC gained this district with 78% of the vote. In 2021, the ruling party won 30%. This district was won by the DA in 2021.

Poll: 33% (39%)

The next round of by-elections will be on 13 September when voters in Mbhashe (Idutywa) in the Eastern Cape will go to the polls in two wards. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • John Smythe says:

    This article shows that even if the sheep aren’t happy with the governing party, they can’t change their votes to try something better (because it can’t get any worse). What this government does so well, is keep its people stupid. Stupid people can’t see something better if it hit them between the eyes. Exactly what the reptile over our northern border has done.

    • Gugu1 K says:

      As much as I’m also disappointed with the by-election results in the sparsely populated platteland and villages of EC and NW, it has to be said that they were not unexpected.

      The DA and other Charter parties (especially those with predominantly black leadership like ActionSA) and the UDM, did very little campaigning and are seriously underperforming given the really bad state of affairs on the countryside.

      In fact it is annoying when liberal whites ascribe voting patterns of the elderly, desperately poor Africans to “stupidity”. The colonial and apartheid government legislated inferior education and exclusion from the mainstream economy with laws like the Jobs Reservation Act, Group Areas Act, Bantu Education.

      The Nats were very popular amongst white SA for this because the laws guaranteed unfair advantage in their favour. It’s time whites acknowledge their own culpability in the ANC’s totally underserved loyalty from elderly, rural African voters.

      • Rod Stewart says:

        Agreed on all counts

      • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

        Ok, consider this formal acknowledgement by whites that apartheid was horrible and stupid. Then, to be fair also consider what black Africans would have done to whites if they had won the wars. Do you honestly think they would have been nice and kind?

        And then consider, it is all irrelevant now. What we need is to work together to build our country. Start looking forward man, it is the only thing that can save us all.

    • Johan Buys says:

      Hermanos: one major difficulty with looking at local elections is that the other parties did not even contest. Looking at by-elections with a 10% voter turnout on a candidate list of two and a half should not be extrapolated to anything. IF the DA and ActionSA and whatever contested and campaigned properly, one could draw conclusions.

  • Graeme J says:

    The Eastern Cape is such a basket case, yet the residents keep voting ANC. Sheeple.

  • Steve Davidson says:

    Oh Jeez. I suppose this means even more economic refugees streaming down to the Western Cape, running away from the corrupt and incompetent ANC mamparras, using up our rates and taxes and then moaning because some of it actually gets spent in the ‘rich white suburbs’.

  • Andre Swart says:

    A poor, dysfunctional, non paying ward becomes a TRAP for any political party.

    The non paying voters will harass and blackmail the ward counsellor and the political party for FREE EVERYTHING!

    Those non – viable, dysfunctional wards can’t afford a representative (counsellor) and should be scrapped!

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