That Inkwanca municipality moment: DA snatches one ward from ANC

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - NOVEMBER 27, 2014

The Democratic Alliance (DA) managed to snatch off a ward from the African National Congress (ANC) in by-elections that were held for all four wards of the Inkwanca Local Municipality on Wednesday, 26 November.

The by-elections for both ward and PR candidates were held in the Inkwanca Local Municipality, which comprises the towns of Molteno and Sterkstroom, after its council was dissolved by Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa, in September following a decision made by the Eastern Cape Provincial Executive Council to implement a Section 139 (1) (c) municipal intervention as a way of addressing the challenges faced by the municipality.

In Ward 1, which was contested by Babsie Bacela of the African Independent Congress (AIC); Mathwell Mbulelo Jacobs of the ANC; Sybil Nobakasa Rhululu of the Congress of the People (COPE); and Hazel Nomsitho Mani of the DA, the ANc won with a massive 77.50% of the vote. Voter turnout for that by-election was 60.79%.

Ward 2, which was contested by Amelia Kensley of the AIC; Zolani Prettyboy Bisiwe of the ANC; Siphiwe Bisiwe of the COPE; and Lindy Ann Haggard of the DA, went to the DA with 51.36% of vote. The ward was previously represented by the ANC and voter turnout was 60.08%.

In Ward 3, which was contested by Vuyiswa Monica Ndabeni of the AIC; Lindile Martin Luther Koltana of the ANC; Louis Phelibongo Frans of the COPE; and Ntombizandile Matyholo of the DA, the ANC retained again with 52.82% of the vote. Voter turnout was a massive 65.77%.

Ward 4, which was contested Michelle Charmaine Pietersen of the AIC; Gladys Xoliswa Mkhubukeli-Lufele of the ANC; Mbulelo Patric Dingani of the COPE; and Nokuzola Theona Tyhala of the DA, also went back to the ANC which got a resounding 82.38% of the vote. Voter turnout was 63.16%.

DA happy with its inroads

In a statement on Thursday, Helen Zille, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, said that her party had “staged a significant surge in growth to win [the] rural Eastern Cape ward off the ANC, going from 33% in 2014 to 52% yesterday.”

“The DA also showed growth of up to 4.2 percentage points in the other 3 wards in this municipality,” she said.

“Round after round of by-elections continue to confirm one thing: momentum is growing behind the DA as we head towards local elections.

“The scene is truly set for the battle for major towns and cities in 2016.”

New council

It remains to be seen if the new council will meet the task of rectifying the concerns and mistakes that led to the previous being disbanded – mostly to do with poor governance and poor service delivery.