By-elections a walk in the park for ANC

Lungani Zungu

Despite being rocked by infighting and corruption, the ANC will go to this year’s local government optimistic after coming out of Wednesday’s by-elections as the clear winners. 

Voters gave the ANC a vote of confidence, propelling the ruling party to retain 27 wards and win three new wards, only losing a single ward.

The Democratic Alliance was the biggest loser, having relinquished four wards that it had won in the 2016 local government elections.

However, the DA managed to cling to power in six wards.

Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters failed to gain a single new ward.

Ex-convict-turned-politician Gayton McKenzie’s party, Patriotic Alliance, stunned many by winning two wards: 17 and 18 in Eldorado Park, Joburg.

This places McKenzie’s party in a good position to act as a kingmaker, should there be no outright winner in the city of Johannesburg in the upcoming local government on 27 October. 

The Inkatha Freedom Party, which has a stronghold in the rural parts of KZN, retained one ward and won one.

These by-elections were an indication that the upcoming local government election will be a closely contested affair.

The so-called small parties, notably McKenzie’s PA, are making inroads.

But it’s back to the drawing board for the DA after its bruising defeat.

With less than five months before the local government elections, the parties are in a race against time to woo voters. 

Yesterday, the chairperson of the IEC, Glen Mashishini, said they were ready to hold the local government elections on 27 October despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

He announced that the commission had roped in former Justice Dikgang Moseneke to assess whether elections will be free and fair amid the current Covid-19 conditions.

Picture source: @MyANC

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