In each of the latest round of by-elections the incumbent party held on to its seat, with the ANC retaining three wards, and IFP and DA one each.
The DA, however, dropped almost 24 percentage points in its victory in Thabazimbi, Limpopo, continuing a trend of significant drops in support in wards it previously won.
Tokkie Swanepoel won Ward 2 in Thabazimbi with 33.59% of the votes cast compared to 57.16% in the 2016 municipal elections. Voter turnout was 46.89%.
While the DA will be disappointed with the drop in support compared to 2016, it will be relieved that it staved off the FF Plus which has eaten into its support the past year.
The FF Plus’ candidate, Frederik Erasmus, got 619 of the votes, compared to Swanepoel’s 731, for 28.31% of the vote.
In 2016, the FF Plus only got 7% in the ward, indicating a more than 20% increase.
The EFF received 7%, ANC 27.2% and Thabazimbi Residents Association 3.5%.
DA Limpopo leader Jacques Smalle said the party was “delighted to have retained Ward 2 in Thabazimbi” in yesterday’s by-election.
“We have complete faith in our new councillor, Tokkie Swanepoel, who together with the DA caucus in Thabazimbi is ready to serve residents with renewed vigour,” he added.
In other by-election results this week in the Matzikama Municipality, the ANC won the ward with 51.30% of the vote, compared to 35.75% in 2016, while the DA dropped 11 percentage points.
On Wednesday, the IFP saw an increase in support in the ward it retained.
Bonginkosi Mkhawuleni Zulu won Ward 4 in the Mtubatuba Municipality, retaining the seat the IFP won in a May 23, 2018, by-election with 48.83% of the vote compared to 37.19% in the 2018 by-election. Voter turnout was 60.21% – the highest of Wednesday’s by-elections. The ANC’s wards are all in the Eastern Cape.
Kwandiswa Gobeni retained Ward 20 in the Mnquma Municipality for the ANC with 87.95% of the votes cast compared to 69.26% in the 2016 municipal elections. Voter turnout was 33.49%.
Ntombomzi Klaas won Ward 11 in the Raymond Mhlaba Municipality with 78.89% of the votes cast compared to 68.19% in the 2016 by-election. Voter turnout was low even by by-elections standards at 6.22%.
Nosakhele Sonkosi won Ward 13 in the Intsika Yethu Municipality with 90.07% of the votes cast compared to 87.68% in the 2016 municipal elections. Voter turnout was 35%.
The DA’s performance in by-elections since the May national and provincial elections has been mixed, with some wards seeing no losses, and others suffering substantial losses.
In by-elections in September in four of the five wards the DA held, its support dropped more than 20 percentage points causing the party to lose two wards, one to the ANC and the other to the FF Plus.
In the by-elections on November 6, the DA retained Ward 2 in the Blue Crane Municipality in the Eastern Cape, including Somerset East, with 53.45% of the vote. In 2016, it got 59.09%.
In the by-election in the Msunduzi Municipality, which includes the regional hub Pietermaritzburg, the DA held its ward and increased its support with two percentage points from 44.04% in 2016 to 46.94%.
In three by-elections in the Western Cape – the province the DA has governed since 2009 – the party lost a ward to the ANC and saw a drop in support in two other wards. In the two wards the DA retained – Tafelsig and Wesbank – the party saw a drop in support of almost 20% from the 2016 municipal election results.