ANC now vulnerable in Nelson Mandela Bay: Political Analyst

AUGUST 20, 2015

A leading political analyst, Daniel Silke, on Thursday said that the defeat of the African National Congress (ANC) by the United Democratic Movement (UDM) in a crucial Nelson Mandela Bay by-election shows that urban voters are becoming fluid and that the opposition could take the Bay next year.

"ANC vote in Port Elizabeth local by-election drops 15% allowing UDM to win seat as split vote favours South Africa's opposition parties," Silke posted on Twitter.

He said that the UDM's win indicates the need for enhanced opposition co-operation in key Metro's ahead of the of 2016 Local Government Elections.

"Swing away from ANC in Port Elizabeth local by-election makes the Metro more vulnerable to opposition victory in 2016.

While the Democratic Alliance (DA) performed dismally in the by-election, its vote share grew from 3.8% to 8.7% in the ward, while the UDM jumped from 1.2% to 49.9%.

"Nelson Mandela Bay Metro signifies an increasingly fluid urban electorate willing to test historic ANC majorities and control," Silke said.

"Looks like the DA will need more of the UDM in future in Port Elizabeth should it wish to govern in coalition in the city."

By winning the ward, which includes Veeplaas and KwaMagxaki, the UDM has reduced the ANC's majority in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council to 62 out of 120.

This ward became vacant after the death of former ANC councillor, Mike Tofile.

Parties were not taking the by-election lightly

Winning this ward is evidently crucial for both the DA and ANC as the battle for control of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is heating up ahead of the 2016 Local Government Elections.

On Sunday, Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, led the ANC's Eastern Cape Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) on a door-to-door campaign in the Ward, where they sought to woo residents to vote for the ANC.

The group also included Nelson Mandela Bay councillors led by Executive Mayor, Danny Jordaan.

Meanwhile, DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, who was expected to campaign in the ward on Monday alongside Federal Chairperson and Nelson Mandela Bay Mayoral candidate, Athol Trollip, failed to pitch up after his flight was delayed and eventually cancelled owing to flight disruptions at the Port Elizabeth International Airport due to bad weather.

The campaign was eventually led by Trollip.

Both parties had held several campaigns in the ward in the lead up to this election.

Related: UDM IN SURPRISE WIN OF NELSON MANDELA BAY WARD - REDUCING ANC MAJORITY

DA SAYS ANC'S BY-ELECTION DEFEAT A BOOST FOR ITS 2016 AMBITIONS