UDM in surprise win of Nelson Mandela Bay ward - reducing ANC majority

AUGUST 20, 2015

The United Democratic Movement (UDM), arguably the dark horse in Wednesday's by-election, has emerged as the winner after snatching the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's highly-contested Ward 30.

Winning the ward, which includes Veeplaas and KwaMagxaki, which was previously held by the African National Congress (ANC) the UDM has reduced the ANC's majority in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council to 62 out of 120.

The UDM clinched 49.9% of the vote; the ANC following with 42% and in last place, the Democratic Alliance (DA), which received 9%.

The by-election, however, saw a lower turnout of 40% of registered voters, when compared with the 59% seen in the 2011 Local Government Elections.

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, Democratic Alliance (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.