The DA has taken outright control of 15 of the 25 councils in the Western Cape, the provincial Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced last night.
Seven councils will have a hung council, meaning that no party has a majority, while three councils were yet to be calculated.
While 10% of votes were still to be captured, chief electoral officer Courtney Sampson said while the votes were still to be verified, voting slips would be posted at the voting stations.
According to the latest results, the DA has 63.75% of the votes in the province, followed by the ANC with 25.47% and the EFF with 2.67%.
In terms of seats won, the DA has 331 to the ANC’s 167 and the EFF’s 12.
Sampson said the election had been “quite remarkable” and had been one of the most discussed the province had ever had.
“Many of the challenges that we anticipated and risks that we foresaw never materialised… I think that there is a certain kind of blessing in that as well,” he said.
He added that it was “anybody’s guess what happens” next. “I think we need to keep a close eye on that as well.”
This was echoed by Jeffrey Mamputha, a member of the independent mediation panel. “The post-election period this year is going to be very, very sensitive,” he said.
DA Mayor and Western Cape party leader Patricia de Lille said she was humbled by confidence and trust of voters. “The only way we could have grown the way we did as the DA is the support of black, white, coloureds and Indians… We are very humbled and very grateful; it’s a big responsibility.”
She added that votes showed that people had accepted that the DA stood for hope with a philosophy of clean governance.
ANC provincial Secretary Faiez Jacobs said the party agreed the elections had been free and fair.
“We accept the results… We call on all our members and supporters to accept the outcome of these results,” he said.
The Congress of the People said the results were an “anticlimax” as the party had hoped for more voter support.
Farouk Cassim, a mayoral candidate for the City of Cape Town, said: “The election was a tremendous success but not so much for COPE but wish it were but it wasn’t.”
“I did not promise to eat my hat so I will not do it,” he said referring to Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota’s statement at the general election that he would if the party did not get more votes.
EFF provincial secretary Melikhaya Xego said since it was the first time the party had contested the local government elections, the only way was up.
“We haven’t lost anything. It is our first… We are moving from zero to something.”
“As for the winning parties, the council chambers will never be the same with the EFF around,” he said jokingly.