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Source: South Africa News Agency

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has released the results of the by-elections, which took place on Wednesday in 95 wards across 55 municipalities in all nine provinces.

In a briefing on Thursday, the commission said the elections proceeded smoothly and peacefully.

The by-elections were contested by 40 political parties, with a total of 444 candidates certified as contestants. This included 19 independent candidates.

Of the candidates, 305 (69%) were male and 139 (31%) were females.

Announcing the results in Tshwane, IEC Vice chairperson, Janet Love, said the Electoral Commission is pleased with the successful holding of the by-elections, which were “overwhelmingly calm, peaceful and smooth”.

“These elections were extraordinary in that they were the first to be held in South Africa under COVID-19 conditions and were the largest number of by-elections held on a single day in our history,” she said.

Love said the commission is encouraged by the turnout of voters, which was within the range for by-elections held since the 2016 Municipal Elections.

According to Love, the average turnout was 37.83%, compared to an average of 38.73% for by-elections over the past four years.

“The highest turnout recorded yesterday was 75.29%, which was recorded in ward 4 of the Port St Johns municipality in the Eastern Cape.

“Given the fact these were the first elections conducted during COVID-19, and that Election Day was a normal working day, the inclement weather in many parts of the country, especially in KwaZulu-Natal — the success of the elections bodes well for the upcoming Municipal Elections, scheduled for 2021,” Love said.

The Electoral Commission expressed its gratitude to all the voters who came out to vote, and for following the COVID-19 protocols strictly and without complaint.

“We also express our thanks to the political parties, their candidates and agents for their support, cooperation and contribution to the success of these by-elections.

“Thanks must also be extended to the South African Police Service (SAPS) for being a constantly dependable partner in the delivery of safe and peaceful elections.

“The commission wishes to express its gratitude to the Electoral Court for providing judicial clarity and condonation to conduct these elections outside of the 90-day period,” Love said.

According to the commission, a total of 23 008 individuals (3.7%) applied and were approved to cast special votes. Of these, 12 218 were via home visits and 10 790 were cast at voting stations.

Protests

The commission expressed concern over the disruptions caused to voting procedures earlier on Wednesday in two wards.

The opening of voting stations was significantly delayed in ward 130 (Naledi, Soweto) in the City of Johannesburg, and at one voting station in ward 13 in Amahlathi Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

Love said protests over service delivery targeted these voting stations, where protesters blocked access to voting stations for both election officials and voters.

“Through the intervention of SAPS, along with provincial and municipal leaders, voting was able to finally get underway at around midday.”

Love said the commission supports the right of communities to protest peacefully in a manner that does not infringe on the rights of citizens to vote and to voice their views through democratic processes.

“The commission calls on leaders from political parties, community structures, religious and civic organisations, along with traditional authorities, to work with the Electoral Commission to ensure that future by-elections and the 2021 Municipal Elections are not disrupted or impacted by protest action.”

National results overview

The results by party of the 95 wards contested are as follows:

African National Congress: retained 64 wards; lost two wards and won six new wards.

Democratic Alliance: retained 14 wards; lost nine wards and won two new wards.

Inkatha Freedom Party: retained four wards and won one new ward. 

Patriotic Alliance: won one new ward.

Good Party: won one new ward.

Al Jama-Ah: won one new ward.

Vryheidsfront Plus: won one new ward.

National Freedom Party: lost one ward.

United Front of Civics Party: lost one ward.

Provincial results overview

Eastern Cape:

Of the 19 wards that were contested, the ANC retained 18 seats and the Democratic Alliance (DA) won one seat from the ANC in the province. Voter turnout in the province on average was 36.85%

Free State:

Of the four wards that were contested, the ANC retained three seats and the DA won seat from the United Front of Civics Party, which won that seat in by-elections held on 23 August 2017. Voter turnout in the province on average was 40.23%.

Gauteng:

Of the 14 wards that were contested, the ANC retained 10 seats and won two seats from the DA. Al Jama-Ah won one seat from the DA, as did the Patriotic Alliance. Voter turnout in the province on average was 24.49%.

KwaZulu-Natal:

Of the 12 wards that were contested, the ANC retained three seats and won one seat from the National Freedom Party, which won the seat in by-elections held on 21 August 2019. The DA retained three seats. The IFP retained four and won one seat from the ANC. Voter turnout in the province on average was 38.87%.

Limpopo:

Of the four wards that were contested, the ANC retained all four seats. Voter turnout in the province on average was 41.24%.

Mpumalanga:

Of the five wards that were contested, the ANC retained three seats and the DA retained two seats. Voter turnout in the province on average was 29.94%.

North West:

Of the six wards that were contested, the ANC retained four seats and won one seat from the DA, and the Vryheidsfront Plus (FF+) won one seat from the DA. Voter turnout in the province on average was 34.99%.

Northern Cape:

Of the 20 wards that were contested, the ANC retained 17 seats and won two (2) seats from the DA. The DA retained one seat. Voter turnout in the province on average was 49.31%.

Western Cape:

Of the 11 wards that were contested, the ANC retained two seats and the DA retained eight seats. The Good Party won one seat from the DA. Voter turnout in the province on average was 37.60%.

Results of dissolved councils

The results of the by-elections in the two dissolved councils in the Northern Cape are as follows:

NC075 – Renosterberg:

• African National Congress: won four seats (compared to four seats it won in 2016).

• Democratic Alliance: won two seats (compared to three seats in 2016).

• Economic Freedom Fighters: won one seat (compared to 0 seats in 2016).

NC – Phokwane:

• African National Congress: won 10 seats (compared to 12 seats it won in 2016).

• Economic Freedom Fighters: won five seats (compared to 3 seats in 2016).

• Democratic Alliance: won two seats (compared to three seats in 2016).

• African Independent Congress: one seat (compared to one seat in 2016)

• Vryheidsfront Plus: won one seat (compared to 0 seats in 2016).

 – SAnews.gov.za

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