Friday, January 21

Local government will never be the same again

The era of liberation party politics may be coming to an end.

The general picture is as follows: the ANC obtained 46% of the national votes in the last local government elections, followed by the DA with 21.8% and the EFF with 10.4%.

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Read: ANC gets 46% in local vote, worst result so far

The graph below shows the areas controlled by the ANC in green, but what it does not show is how well some smaller parties and community forums did at the local level with only months, and in some cases weeks, to prepare for the elections. .

Eastern Free State

One of them is the Setsoto Service Delivery Forum (SSDF), which won eight seats in three districts in the Eastern Free State. The ANC tightened with a 17-seat majority in the same districts, although SSDF spokesman Sealane Lephoi acknowledges that the forum is a by-election away from dethroning the ANC forever from its long and unsuccessful rule in the Free State. from the east.

The smaller opposition parties won 16 seats compared to 17 for the ANC.

“The last time the ANC got 21 seats in this area. This time it is 17. We are suspicious of the results, particularly in those areas where we did not have all the resources or were not attentive to the minute details of the surveys. In those areas where we were vigilant, we won. In our opinion, there is no doubt that thefts occurred in these elections. ”

The SSDF waged a vigorous campaign focused on local issues: potholes, corrupt tenders, unrepaired water pipes, arrogant ANC councilors deployed for party affiliations rather than any particular talent for management, and the desire to see a return on investment. business in the area.

“This is the beginning of something,” says Lephoi. “We are very proud of our result, considering that we only had a few months to prepare for this, but we are known entities in this community, unlike the councilors of the ANC who are placed in management positions because [are] loyal to the party of the furry ones.

“Now we are in a position to watch them like hawks and take them out of public service.”


Like the SSDF in the Eastern Free State, the Azanian Independent Community Movement (AICM) waged a vigorous campaign in the North West province based on curbing corruption and cronyism, winning eight seats in five municipalities. AICM coordinator Mandla Mpempe, like Lephoi, believes that the election was anything but free and fair in some of the districts.

He has complained to the SA Electoral Commission (IEC) about the bias of IEC officials towards the ANC, complaints that were dismissed as unfounded.

Nonetheless, the AICM is delighted to have secured eight seats in the ANC strongholds.

“The face of local government will never be the same again,” says Mpempe.

“We have just started our journey to hold corrupt and corrupt city officials to account and remove them from office. Our message to ANC officials is that their time is up. We are here for one reason only: to restore accountability and good governance to local government. ”

And, like the SSDF, AICM is now setting up an office and preparing for much more important things. AICM’s success was achieved with virtually no financial support and only weeks of preparation. “Imagine what we could do with more time to organize and more funds, what we will get,” says Mpempe.

Makana, Eastern Cape

The Makana Citizens Front (MCF) won five seats in the Makana Council (Grahamstown), giving it the same number of seats as the DA and reducing the majority of the ANC to less than 1%.

“If you put a lion in a chicken council, the chickens will be terrified. The people of Makana have put five lions on the Makana Council, ”says Lungile Mxube, chairman of MCF’s management committee.

“We have a highly qualified and diverse roster of candidates. As a civic organization with a campaign of less than five months and minimal funding, we have shown what the power of the people can do. Despite the dirty tricks of the ANC, we almost kicked them out of the office.

“Now we focus our attention on bringing the government to the community and holding the government accountable. Our greatest promise was a different way of governing that involves the entire community and we will demonstrate this in practice against the opposition.

ANC wake-up call

It was the worst choice for the ANC since it came to power in 1994 as a liberation party.

The district attorney has been comforted by the fact that overall ANC support has dropped below 50% and the EFF, with its racial and divisive politics, did not win significantly.

While the ruling party traditionally fares worse in local government than in national elections, there are those who believe the ANC may not recover from this.

Now it seems that all the meters (with the exception of East London / Buffalo City) have been lost to the ANC, and the big shock of this latest result was the loss of eThekwini (Durban), a traditional stronghold of the ANC. This time he only got 42% and will have to build a coalition to maintain control.

The blame game has begun, with the ANC’s equivocal response to the July riots and looting, the devastating economic effects of the Covid shutdowns, and years of administrative entropy cited as sources of the ruling party’s dismal result.

National spokesperson of the ANC Pule Mabe He says Low voter turnout, especially in traditional ANC strongholds, sends a clear message: “People are disappointed in the ANC for slow progress in repairing local government, in ensuring consistent and quality basic services, in fighting against corruption and greed. People are happy with the renewal of the ANC and, therefore, with our nation’s mission to build a better life for all ”.

Midvaal and Emfuleni, Gauteng

The district attorney again gained full control in Midvaal in Gauteng, where the 34-year-old mayor, Bongani Baloyi, earned a reputation for having a clean ship (six clean audits) and cash reserves of more than R2 billion.

Read: Emfuleni and Midvaal enter the record books, but for very different reasons

That success has not gone unnoticed in neighboring Emfuleni, generally considered one of the worst-managed municipalities in Gauteng.

The ANC lost full control, with its share of the votes falling to 38% (55.8% in 2016), while the DA increased its share to 24% (24.6%) and the EFF to 14% (12 ,2%). Freedom Front Plus also garnered a significant number of votes.

Emfuleni has had three mayors since 2016 and three municipal administrators, and it has been a basket case of poor governance, with unpaid Eskom bills, sewage leaks on the streets, and an almost complete failure of basic services.

Baloyi, who is coming out of the Midvaal mayoralty, says Midvaal’s success undoubtedly had an impact on declining ANC support in neighboring Emfuleni. “It is the best exit I can dream of. I think it is the result of hard work during the [last four-year] deadline and striving to deliver on the promises we made to our community in 2016.

“Clearly, consistent and reliable service delivery, good governance, transparency, and ethical leadership allowed us to build a stronger bond and trust with our community,” says Baloyi.

“And that is why we were elected with an increased majority. I think [the declining ANC support in Emfuleni] it’s a combination of lack of service delivery, voter apathy and the success of Midvaal. ”

Challenge, KwaZulu-Natal

The district attorney also gained control of uMngeni municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, the first time he has obtained a majority in a local council in the province.

The district attorney won 13 seats compared to 10 for the ANC.

Incoming Mayor Chris Pappas, a fluent Zulu speaker, has promised to fix the council and open the area’s doors to business. Municipal workers who did not do their job “better not be at work when the prosecutor comes to the office,” he said, according to Times Live.

Source: IEC

Joburg, Gauteng

ActionSA, from former Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, scored about the same as Freedom Front Plus with 2.36%, a surprisingly strong result given that it only contested a handful of metropolitan areas.

Action SA has become a potential kingmaker in metropolitan areas where it did well, but has vowed not to enter into any coalition with the ANC.

“ActionSA challenged six municipalities on the principle that we would not be an opposition party. In the six of these municipalities, the ANC has been reduced to 50% and, in three municipalities, the ANC has been reduced to 40%, leaving the coalitions open, ”he says. Mashaba in a post-election analysis of the party’s performance.

More extensive analysis

The Inkatha Freedom Party also performed well at 5.7% nationally, a far better performance for a party that seemed destined for irrelevance only a few years ago.

Of the 26.1 million South Africans registered to vote, just under half of them actually turned out, and the ANC won the majority in 161 of the 213 contested municipalities. The DA obtained the majority in 13 and the IFP in 10 municipalities.

The slippage of the ANC in the main metropolitan areas continues.

It obtained 33.6% in Johannesburg, against 26.5% for DA and 16% for ActionSA.

Read: It is the day after the elections and the shedding of charges is looming.

The only Gauteng municipality the ANC managed to win was Lesedi, and even here the percentage drop in support is alarming: from 62% in 2016 to just over 50% this time around.

Even more alarming was the extraordinary drop in ANC support in Maluti-a-Phofung in the Free State, where it gained 39% (up from 67% in 2016).

The ANC received a devastating blow to the area by a group of former ANC members who denounced corruption and now dispute the area as MAP16, which won 20 seats in the municipality, making it the kingmaker in negotiations. coalition now in progress.

The DA also outperformed the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay, at 39.9% against the ANC’s 39.4% and the EFF’s 6.4%.

In Tshwane, the ANC outperformed the DA between 34.3% and 32.3%, and the EFF reached 10.6%.

In Ekurhuleni, the ANC won 38.2% against the DA’s 28.7% and the EFF’s 13.6%.

The ANC won only 18% of the vote in Cape Town against 60% of the DA. It seems that the city was lost forever to the liberation party.

What remains to be decided is which party will end up running these hanging metropolitan areas once the coalition negotiations are formalized.

In the remaining 66 municipalities, no party achieved an absolute majority. As this article is written, negotiations between political enemies are working out the finer details about who can rule where and at what cost.

In the case of the EFF, that cost is meeting expropriation without compensation (EWC) within six months. Various polls show that there is not much enthusiasm for EWC.

But for the smaller parties campaigning on local issues, the focus is on fixing the streets and sewer pipes outside where you live. And recover jobs and businesses in the locality.

It already seems to be having an effect: Lephoi notes that the electoral shock of a new emerging force in the Eastern Free State motivated the local municipality to start doing what it should have been doing years ago: cleaning the streets.

“They know we are coming for them,” he says.

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