With less than half of the 2016 local government elections results counted, the top three political parties, the African National Congress (ANC), Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) all said it was still too early to determine the outcome of the polls.
Shortly after 2pm, the ANC was leading with 50.90 percent of the counted vote, followed by the DA with 34.27 percent and EFF a distant third with 5.67 percent.
ANC chief whip in Parliament, Jackson Mthembu, said that the completed election results were not a true reflection of how the overall picture would look like when counting would finally be completed. However, he said the ANC remained optimistic of an overwhelming majority in the country’s municipalities.
“We all know that these are still very early days, there is nothing to write home about at the moment, but all that we can say as the African National Congress is that we got into these elections because we wanted to win and we know that we are going to be victorious.
“Our people understand that we have track record, they understand that we brought freedom to these shores and they also understand that we have created better lives for many South Africans. That is why we are confident that we will retain all our metros and all the municipalities where we govern. We will even do better in Cape Town,” said Mthembu.
The ANC governs seven out of the eight major metros, with the DA-controlled Cape Town the only exception. However, Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg have been identified as key battle grounds, with the DA setting its sights on wresting control from the ANC.
James Selfe, the DA’s federal executive chairperson and MP, said his party had worked very hard and that the preliminary results reflected the party’s progress, but conceded that the real picture would only start emerging once the metro votes started coming in.
“We have worked very hard and we have been right through the whole country to put up candidates all over and the results are starting to show that we have made significant progress.
“However, we must mention that these are small wards, particularly the rural ones that have started to come in, the real results will only be determined once the metros start to come in and when they come in we will have a better and more accurate idea about how the eventual results will pan out,” Selfe said.
Meanwhile, the EFF’s national spokesperson and MP, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said that the current results did not translate to the overview of how people had voted as the initial results did not give a clear a picture yet of the overall outcome.
He said it was still too early to speculate.
– African News Agency (ANA)