DA: Despite loss, Nelson Mandela Bay By-elections show ANC support plummeting
Despite losing in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality by-elections that were held in Ward 42 and Ward 46 on Wednesday 5 November 2014, the Democratic Alliance (DA) that the results showed a decline in support for the majority African National Congress (ANC).
While the ANC’s Lindelwa Qukubana won the Ward 46 by 81.04% of the vote, it lost Ward 42 to its former councillor, Andile Gqabi, who obtained almost double the number of votes the ANC got.
“These two wards are very interesting barometers for the forthcoming local government elections in 2016, where the DA has publicly stated that it intends wining this strategic metro municipality,” said the DA’s Athol Trollip.
He said that violent service delivery protests over the past few years had impacted on the outcomes of Wednesday’s by-elections and “are an ominous portent of things to come for the ANC in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.”
“The DA has grown steadily in Ward 46, which incorporates a large chunk of KwaNobuhle. In the 2011 local government elections the DA got 22.43% of the vote, in the May 2014 national/provincial elections 23.21%, and in the November 2014 by-election 28%,” said Trollip.
“This indicates that the governing ANC cannot arrest the slide in support that brought them below 50% in the national/provincial election. This despite the frantic campaigning of senior ANC figures such as the deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, no less.”
He further argued that Gqabi winning Ward 42 – by beating his former party’s candidate, is an unmistakable sign that the ANC is not bigger than the people.
“This result highlights the vulnerability of the ANC and this even without the contestation of the ‘new kid on the ANC’s block’, the EFF,” said Trollip.
He also said that the low voter turnout in both wards (Ward 42, 46.5% and Ward 46, 35.36%) show that the ANC can no longer turn out their supporters at will.
“The face of local government is set to change forever due to the woeful performance of the ANC in this sphere of government for so long. The ANC’s tolerance of chaotic and corrupt governance in the Metro under self-serving and/or inept leadership has finally come home to haunt them,” said Trollip.
“This result will surely be reverberating in the ears of the ANC national spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, and the ANC provincial secretary, Oscar Mabuyane, who both pronounced an emphatic ANC-victory. This result shows that the ANC will not govern until 'Christ returns', rather that democracy and the wishes of the people is here to stay in a constitutionally democratic South Africa.”
The ANC welcomed its retention of 10 out of the twelve wards that were contested in municipal by-elections held across the country on Wednesday. It retained three wards in the Eastern Cape – one being uncontested.
"[It is] a demonstration of the ANC`s continuing hegemony in those communities arising from the tangible difference our people can see in their lives as a result of ANC policies.," spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.
He said that the by-election results once again prove the point made in the SA Economic Update report released by the World Bank this week.
“It further affirms that our progressive policies continue to benefit the poorest of the poor rather than the rich, dismissing the unfounded allegations made in some quarters that the ANC has abandoned the working class and the poor."
Photo caption: The Democratic Alliance's (DA) Athol Trollip.
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