Who will rule the Western Cape? 

By Zukile Majova
Political Editor

A new coalition of black and coloured parties in the Western Cape is threatening the DA’s grip on power in that province.

The DA often presents itself as one of the few parties growing with every election.

It recorded its best performance in 2014 where it received 22.23% of the national vote and 57.26% in the Western Cape.

Even though the voter’s roll grew by over one million voters between 2014 and 2019, the DA’s share of the national vote fell by over 460,000 votes, from 22.23% to 20.77%.

In the DA heartland of the Western Cape, the party’s support fell from 57.26% in 2014 to 52.4% in 2019.

So what went wrong for the DA? 

The biggest blind spot in the DA in most Western Cape towns has been the betrayal of the coloured vote.

It was the coloured vote that – frustrated by ANC rule – delivered Cape Town to Helen Zille in 2006 and the Western Cape to the DA in 2009.

Since the DA took over from the ANC, good governance and service delivery have been unmatched in white areas in Cape Town and in various urban areas in the province.

But black townships and coloured areas have remained citadels of crime, drugs, gangsterism, unemployment and poor service delivery.

Millions who lived in squalor in 2006 still live in shacks by 2024.

Unhappiness in coloured areas gave rise to regional political parties that tested their powers for the first time during the 2021 local government elections.

In those elections the IEC declared 12 municipalities in the province as hung, with none of the big parties securing a clear majority.

The dominance of the DA had been challenged and it was forced to govern through coalitions with these regional parties.

In the first 20 years of the new dispensation, the DA and the ANC were the main parties in the Western Cape.

Since then, parties like Patricia de Lille’s Good Party, Gayton McKenzie’s Patriotic Alliance (PA), and Julius Malema’s EFF have muddied the waters.

Add to this the emergence of small parties like the Independent Civic Organisation of SA (Icosa), Al Jama-ah, the Cape Coloured Congress (CCC), the Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners (PBI) and Breedevallei Onafhanklik (BO).

It’s a cocktail that has shocked both the ANC and the DA in by-elections across the province, with the PA consolidating in George. Most recently a PA coalition removed the DA in affluent Plettenberg Bay (Bitou Municipality).

McKenzie and his coalition are now gunning for George. 

With the national and provincial elections a few months away, the coalition of the PA, ANC, EFF and the Good Party has the potential to bring the DA below 50%, meaning the Western Cape could be governed through a coalition.


Pictured above: The DA is losing its grip on the Cape, but who will govern the province?

Source: X


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