DA, ANC hold their wards in latest round of by-elections

There were no surprises at ward level as parties test the waters ahead of 2024

DA, ANC hold their wards in latest round of by-elections
The Democratic Alliance is flying its flag in Gauteng

The ANC retained two wards and the Democratic Alliance (DA) three in the five by-elections held in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng on Wednesday.

The governing party retained ward 15 at Mandeni on the North Coast with 67.94%, well ahead of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), which took 18.37% and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) 13.69%.

The ANC took the ward for the first time in 2021, when it ousted the IFP, which had held it — and most of the heavily contested municipality — since the 1990s.

The ANC also retained ward 12 at Umzimkhulu, one of its historical strongholds, with 65.73% of the vote, defeating the IFP (25.04%) and the EFF (9.23%).

Although the result is a victory for the ANC, the party will be concerned by the growth shown by the IFP, which has battled to do so in the southern KwaZulu-Natal town. In 2016, the ANC took 92% of the votes in ward 12, dropping to 72.9% in November 2021.

In eThekwini, the DA retained control of ward 73 in Chatsworth by an increased majority, growing its slice of the vote from 67.5% in 2021 to 87.1%.

In Gauteng, the DA also retained ward 25 in Ekurhuleni, securing 66.12% of votes over the Freedom Front Plus (FF+), which got 19.56% and the EFF 10.81%.

Both the EFF and the FF+ have been growing in the ward since 2016, when the DA took 74% of votes.

In ward 8 in Lesedi municipality, the DA also held its majority, taking 52.45% of votes ahead of the FF+, which took 21.18% and the EFF 9.56%.

DA KwaZulu-Natal leader Francois Rodgers said the party was “humbled and elated” by the results in the by elections in the province.

He said the significant increase in support in ward 73 came despite “desperation” shown by the ANC sending the party’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to Chatsworth ahead of voting day.

“We are encouraged by the support that the DA continues to receive across the province as we head into the 2024 elections. It is time to send a strong message to the ANC,” Rodgers said.

The next round of by-elections will be held on 14 June.

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