Party leaders unmoved by early election results, say no cause for panic yet

MK shows an example of ethnic identity vote, says Helen Zille

30 May 2024 - 14:45
By Kgothatso Madisa
People watch live voting results on the national ballot results board at the IEC National Results Centre on May 30 2024 in Johannesburg.
Image: Chris McGrath/Getty Images People watch live voting results on the national ballot results board at the IEC National Results Centre on May 30 2024 in Johannesburg.

Political parties are unmoved by early results that by 1pm had just surpassed the 2-million mark, or just less than 20% of votes, showing the ANC below 50% of the national ballot.

The early results were mostly from provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and the Western Cape.

Just before 2pm, they placed the ANC at 43%, DA at 24%, with the EFF and MK Party both at 8%.

The early results also showed the PA had overtaken the IFP and was in fifth place with 4%, while the latter was at 2%.

Results of the May 29 elections started trickling in early on Thursday morning, with the IEC expected to announce final results on Sunday.

There were nationwide delays at the voting stations on election day, which saw snaking queues past the 9pm closing time.

The last voting station closed at 3am, with the IEC now focusing on receiving and collating results.

Political party leaders at the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) national results centre in Midrand all agreed it was too early to make a call on the fiercely contested polls.

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille said she had been part of many elections and knew it was still early days.

“I don’t want to be worried about things in early days, the metros have not come in yet, and the metros of course are where the DA has its major vote. So I keep very calm in all circumstances,, this isn’t my first rodeo as you know,” said Zille.

EFF secretary-general Marshall Dlamini echoed the same sentiments, saying results from areas where the red berets enjoyed more support were yet to come in.

“Look, the areas where we’re normally stronger have not come in, so that’s why to us it’s still early days. So we’re still monitoring because the areas that have come in now are more in the farms and in the suburbs, where we’re relatively not strong. So we will wait until the afternoon, where now we can speak on areas where we normally come out strong,” he said.

The IFP’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa said people should not speculate on the outcome of elections based on a few counted votes.

“It’s still early, we must not allow speculation midstream counting, especially at this point, and knowing the history of the election in this country, things can change. We are looking at a picture where the IFP numbers have not come as they should, so we’ll allow the capturing process to run its course,” he said.

MK Party’s secretary-general Sihle Ngubane said the results so far were indicative of their projections.

“We are excited about the results, very much excited. What you see in the results is what we worked for. We were criss-crossing the country, we didn’t have money, we were funding this campaign from our pockets, and we were not assisted by anyone,” he said.

“So with the results that are coming out of a six-month-old party that didn’t have a cent in its bank account, this is good results.”

Ngubane said they are confident the MK Party will govern KwaZulu-Natal with a 55% majority and they are projecting a healthy 28% vote nationally.

Zille and ANC national chair Gwede Mantashe agreed that MK Party was putting up a good show.

“I must say they are doing well in KZN, they’ve surprised me a little bit there, but they are not going to do that in other provinces. They won’t do that in the Eastern Cape, for example. I’m watching Gauteng, they won’t do well in Mpumalanga, we are going to do well in Mpumalanga. I can tell you now, we’re going to do well in Limpopo, Eastern Cape, in the Free State, we’re doing relatively well in North West,” said Mantashe.

Zille said: “MK is another example of an ethnic identity vote, a very powerful one. Former president Zuma was the strongest, most senior isiZulu-speaking candidate leading a party in this election, and we’ve seen what the consequences are, and as I say it’s too early to say with any finality yet.”