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JANUARY BY-ELECTION

DA kicks off 2024 with solid win in Ladybrand, Free State, but loses some ground to ANC

DA kicks off 2024 with solid win in Ladybrand, Free State, but loses some ground to ANC
Archive Photo: Delegates attend the Democratic Alliance Federal Conference held at Gallagher Convention centre in on 1 April 2023. Photo: Felix Dlangamandla

It was a low-key start for this national election year as the DA retained its seat in Ladybrand in the Free State, while the ANC will be encouraged by its ability to get its voters out to the polls. A new party also made its electoral debut, but finished well off the pace.

Ward 7 (Ladybrand), Mantsopa in Thabo Mofutsanyana: DA 59% (63%) ANC 38% (31%) EFF 3% (3%) TSM <1%

The setting: Ladybrand is the gateway from South Africa to Maseru, the capital of Lesotho. The municipality is named after the Basotho prophetess and storyteller Mantsopa. Soccer player Lehlonololo Majoro and actor Dulcie van den Bergh hail from the area. Other villages in the municipality are Hobhouse and Excelsior. The municipality forms part of the Thabo Mofutsanyana district which includes Bethlehem, Phuthaditjhaba and Harrismith. 

The 2021 elections: The DA beat the ANC by more than two votes to one. It achieved this by getting 80% of the vote in the two Ladybrand town voting districts. The ANC won the voting district of Mauersnek, beating the DA by 111 votes there.  In 2019, the ANC beat the DA, when tallying up the three voting districts in the ward on the provincial ballot, by six votes. This suggests that the ward councillor’s popularity was key for the DA in this ward. 

The seat allocation in 2021 was very similar to that of 2016. The council increased by one seat (17 to 18), with the DA bagging that additional seat to move from three seats to four. The ANC remained on 11 seats, the EFF held onto its two seats and Congress of the People (COPE) also returned with the same single seat. 

The by-election: DA ward councillor Tania Halse became a member of Parliament. The DA, ANC and EFF were joined by Cape Town activist Mehmed Vefa Dag’s new party, the Truth and Solidarity Movement (TSM), on the ballot. This was TSM’s electoral debut. 

The DA retained the ward but lost some ground to the ANC. The DA breached the 80% mark in the two Ladybrand town voting districts. At the Ladybrand Town Hall voting district, the party climbed from 82% to 85%. The ANC made some inroads at the Yeshua College voting district, moving from 14% to 18%. The turnout was down slightly at Yeshua College. It was quite different at the Ladybrand Town Hall where it shrunk from 49% to 41%. 

The ANC’s gains were centred on the Hermana Primary School district in Mauersnek. It went from 53% to 61% while the DA dropped from 39% to 34%. There was another significant turnout differential in the ANC’s favour as 62% of registered voters turned out here. It all but matched the 2021 turnout for the district. 

The TSM finished a distant fourth, receiving only five votes. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: EFF beats ANC for major upset in Saldanha Bay, but ruling party wins big in KZN, North West

The DA will be satisfied that it started this national election year with a win, while the ANC will be assured that there are signs in the Free State that its turnout machine is well oiled and ready to run. 

Poll:  44% (47%)

The next by-election will be on 31 January when the ANC will go head-to-head with the EFF in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Alan Hirsch says:

    It would be more helpful in understanding the trends if this report mentioned the actual number of votes in recent and current elections and the percentage of eligible voters who voted in each case too.

  • Random Comment says:

    The ANC is set to win the 2024 Election at a canter, despite what the media may prophesize.
    The EFF will mop up any disaffected ANC voters, which votes will be consolidated into a political union of expedience with the ANC (as per the situ in Johannesburg) to rule in a coalition.
    If the DA is VERY lucky, it may hang on to Cape Town and the WC but demographics are against it achieving this feat for much longer.

    Sorry, folks, but that’s the way the wind is blowing…don’t shoot the weatherman.

  • mquail4 says:

    I do receive your news in DM emails. My annual donations to DM show my active support for your fine service. Thanks for your efforts. Brilliant contributions.

  • Sannie Symington says:

    Too many “incomers” from other provinces to WC, that don’t vote for DA because they are brainwashed by other fools. But always demanding, demanding from munisipalities.

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