Political parties optimistic after 'Super Wednesday' by-elections
Political parties in Gauteng are optimistic of victory after by-elections in several municipalities on Wednesday.
More than 90 by-elections were held across SA, 14 of them in Gauteng. The IEC was expected to announced the results on Thursday at midday.
These were the first by-elections since the Covid-19 lockdown, and parties in Gauteng are eyeing to either consolidate power or take over key municipalities including Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Mogale City.
In Ekurhuleni, three wards were contested and if the ANC loses it could be in danger of losing its coalition government.
In Johannesburg, five wards were in contention, two of which are DA strongholds.
Should the ANC be dislodged in the three other wards, it risks losing its coalition government after it was ditched by the Patriotic Alliance, which formed part of mayor Geoff Makhubo's executive.
In Mogale City, one ward is up for grabs, but it could swing power to the opposition if the ANC fails to retain it.
ANC provincial spokesperson Bones Modise said they wanted to take all the available Johannesburg wards, especially where they were previously not in power.
“If we were to win these other wards in Ekurhuleni and in Johannesburg, [and] retain the ones we had, it would be good for the ANC. It would usher positive messaging to the people of Gauteng,” said Modise.
He said there had been a positive response from the people of Gauteng, especially in the way the party had handled its latest scandals relating to PPE procurement.
“We want to cement that and the only way to cement that is through the electorate, for them to give us a thumbs up,” said Modise.
DA interim leader Solly Msimanga was circumspect about the possibility of ANC losses, but the party was also looking at two other by-elections scheduled for January after it lost two of its own ward councillors through resignations.
“We are assessing the situation as we go. We are not in a hurry to put motions of no confidence [in the ANC]. I think they are doing a good job of really digging themselves in ,” said Msimanga.
He said they were looking at first strengthening the caucus in Johannesburg.
EFF chairperson in Gauteng Itani Mukwevho said all three municipalities, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Mogale City were up for grabs.
“In West Rand region, we have ward 11 in Mogale City which are contested and Merafong ward 27. If we win Merafong, it means the ANC is going to lose a district in West Rand. Again, if we win Mogale City, the ANC will not get any friends from us,” said Mukwevho.
He said if the EFF won the wards in Ekurhuleni, they would make life difficult for the coalition government of the ANC.