ANC wins more ward by-elections as local government polls draw close
Of the 14 by-elections that were contested on Wednesday, the ANC managed to retain its 10 wards and won an extra two
The ruling ANC has again had an impressive showing in the latest by-elections, snatching a ward from the official opposition DA in its Western Cape stronghold.
Results from Wednesday's by-elections show that the ANC continues to do well despite its internal woes.
The Electoral Commission has not yet released the official results of the by-elections. It is expected to announce them at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
However, information coming from observers and the party itself show that the party retained all its wards and won two more.
This comes a day after President Cyril Ramaphosa officially announced that this year's local government elections will be held on October 27.
The most important of the wins for the ANC is in Knysna, in the Western Cape, where the party won ward 11 from the DA using its former councillor, Lorraine Opperman.
Since the 2016 local government elections, there has been political instability in the council. The win on Wednesday means the coalition between the ANC, Knysna United Congress and COPE will remain in power in the municipality, with COPE still leading the administration through its mayor Elrick van Aswegen.
Van Aswegen came to power last year after the three parties struck a deal with the ANC. He was previously deputy mayor on a DA card.
ANC Western Cape convener Lerumo Kalako said his party welcomed the win. “We are humbled by our emphatic victories. Our people have shown that they still trust us to bring a better life to them.
“They believe we are the only political force that can bring real change to their lives. We are encouraged by their trust. We want to thank all those who voted for us and pledge we will not disappoint them,” said Kalako.
The ANC in the Western Cape retained another ward in Beaufort West but failed to unseat the DA in Delft Township, in Cape Town.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC managed to win a ward from the IFP in Maphumulo local municipality, giving it 14 seats against the eight of the IFP.
In total, of the 14 by-elections that were contested on Wednesday, the ANC managed to retain the 10 wards it held and won an extra two. The DA retained one ward and lost one, a similar case with the IFP.
Since the so-called “Super Wednesday” by-elections held in November 2020, the first by-elections since the Covid-19 lockdown, the ANC has been showing positive signs at the polls.