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By-elections: ANC wrests three wards from opposition parties

Sapa

The ruling party said it was "humbled" by the confidence South Africans showed in the party, after the latest by-election results.

The ANC won the national elections in May with a 62.15% majority, but it lost 15 seats in Parliament. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

The ANC on Thursday said it was humbled after scooping three wards previously held by other political parties in Wednesday’s by-elections.

“The ANC is humbled by the confidence South Africans continue to show in the ability of the ANC to move our country forward,” said party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.

“They [citizens] communicate loudly through the ballot box that the ANC is a representation of the aspirations of our people and no amount of political posturing by other political parties ... will convince them otherwise.”

By-elections were held in 25 wards across the country on Wednesday, with the ANC wresting three wards from other parties and an independent candidate.

ANC candidate Thozamile Qushani won ward 40 in Port Elizabeth with 50.59% of the vote, beating the Democratic Alliance (DA). The ruling party also secured ward four in Indaka, KwaZulu-Natal – previously held by the Inkatha Freedom Party – with 59% of the vote.

Ward 25 in Rustenburg also went to the ANC, with 73% of the vote. The ward was previously held by an independent candidate.

In total, the ANC won eight wards in the by-elections, three of which were uncontested: Emakhazeni (Belfast) in Mpumalanga, and wards six and 12 in Rustenburg in the North West.

Elections 2016
The DA won 17 wards in total, but 16 of them were retained from previous elections. The opposition party scooped ward 20 in Polokwane, Limpopo from the ANC, with 64% of the vote.

DA leader Helen Zille also claimed victory on Thursday for winning 17 wards in “major towns and cities”. 

“The DA thanks all its supporters across South Africa for coming out in their numbers yesterday,” she said. “Through this momentum, we will ensure that the battle for change in South Africa’s cities will be on like never before in 2016.” 

A total of 63 065 South Africans cast their votes in the by-elections out of a registered population of 198 640. The  Independent Electoral Commission recorded 304 spoilt votes, with Port Alfred the only ward to record no spoilt votes. Ward 25 in Rustenburg recorded the highest number of spoilt votes at 102. – Sapa

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