The DA managed to retain three wards in by-elections this week, but lost two seats to the ANC and Freedom Front Plus. It also saw double-digit drops in support in a number of wards.
A statement released by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) showed the ANC had taken one seat from the DA in the Western Cape and retained five, while the FF Plus also won one seat from the DA in the North West.
The DA retained three other wards it had won previously, but lost 15% and 28% of votes in two of them.
In the Cederberg, Maxwell Heins is the new ANC councillor in Ward 3 in the Cederberg Municipality.
The ANC won the seat back from the DA who had taken it in the 2016 municipal elections, with an approximate 21% loss in support for the DA. Voter turnout on Wednesday was 58.63%.
In Potchefstroom, Everhardus Johannes Jacobus Laing of the FF Plus takes over as councillor in Ward 2 in the JB Marks Municipality.
It gained the seat from the DA who had won it in 2016.
The IEC did not give a breakdown in support, but said the total votes cast for the winner was 41.71% compared to 57.87% in 2016.
In Kuruman, Abraham Willem Petrus van der Westhuizen was the new DA councillor in Ward 1 in the Ga-Segonyana Municipality, the IEC said.
The DA retained the seat it had won in 2016, with 59.03% of the votes cast compared to 74.50% – a decline of 15% with a voter turnout of 40.15%.
Wilhelm Joriaas America is the DA councillor in Ward 14 in the Saldanha Bay Municipality. It retained the seat it had won in 2016, with 56.29% of the votes cast compared to 84.32% – a 28% decline in support while voter turnout was 41.86%.
According to the IEC, Johannes Dick Green in Ward 19 was the new DA councillor in the Buffalo City Municipality.
“The party retained the seat it won in the 2016 municipal elections, with 71.03% of the votes cast compared to 73.67% in 2016. Voter turnout yesterday was 26.42%.”
Also according to the IEC, the ANC retained:
– Ward 15 in the Engcoo Municipality, with 79% of the votes cast – a decrease of 1%;
– Ward 29 in the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality, with 62% of the votes cast – an increase of 15%;
– Ward 20 in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, with 66.65% of the votes cast – a decline of 6%;
– Ward 18 in the Msunduzi Municipality, with 88.38% of the votes cast – an increase of 12%;
– Ward 10 in the Ubuhlebezwe Municipality, with 76.13% of the votes cast – a decrease of 14%.
Elections analyst Dawie Scholtz made some pertinent observations.
In a number of tweets, he explained that what was remarkable was that “… the losses are across a number of core DA demographic groups”.
According to Scholtz, the data showed the losses were among coloured voters in Saldanha, Kuruman and Cederberg, while white Afrikaans voters were also supporting the party less as evidenced in the results in Potchefstroom.
The DA’s national spokesperson Solly Malatsi said told News24: “We are proud of the work our structures are doing in the wards that we have managed to retain during these round of by-elections and we will be working hard leading up the 2021 elections to work on regaining votes we have lost in some areas.”