ANC takes 60% of vote by 7am
The African National Congress (ANC) had garnered more than 60% of the 10,9-million local government election votes counted by 7am on Thursday morning.
It was still not clear how many of South Africa’s 23,65-million voters took part in Wednesday’s election.
Chief Electoral Officer Pansy Tlakula told a press briefing on Wednesday that she hoped that at least 40% of registered voters had cast their ballots.
Of the 10,9-million votes cast by 3,73-million voters counted by 7am, 201 385, or 1,8%, were spoiled ballots.
At 7am the IEC was reporting that the ANC had secured 826 council seats, while the DA stood at 358 seats, the Congress of the People (Cope) had 40 and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) had 16.
It was not known which wards these were, but the DA’s Tshwane spokesperson said the party had secured 38 of 105 wards in Tshwane, with results still outstanding.
The IEC had yet to record the Tshwane results.
In the Nelson Mandela Bay metro, the DA and the ANC appeared to be in a bruising battle with the ruling party edging ahead of the DA.
At 7am, the IEC was reporting that the DA had garnered 167 561 votes to the ANC’s 172 379 votes.
ANC thwarted in Western Cape
Attempts by the ANC to regain control of Western Cape municipalities did not appear to be bearing fruit.
According to IEC figures, the ANC had secured 30,1% of the vote in the province compared to 59,4% for the DA.
A ward in Randfontein, west of Johannesburg, was the first to complete its vote counting. The ANC won 57% of the vote and the DA 43%.
Nine people were registered in Ward 74802011. Seven of them voted, with the ANC receiving four votes and the DA three.
Early results out of Gauteng indicated that the DA was leading in Midvaal, while in KwaZulu-Natal the IFP was doing battle with the National Freedom Party (NFP) for second spot.
The NFP, which was created by the IFP’s former national chairwoman Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi earlier this year, had secured 225 041 votes to the 326 438 of the IFP.
IEC begins to buzz
As dawn broke over on Thursday, journalists and politicians kept a close watch on the large screen at the IEC’s results centre in Pretoria displaying the local government elections results.
Some who spent the entire night at the centre refilled their cups of coffee, in an attempt to keep their eyes open.
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the party had suffered from “high blood pressure” since Wednesday evening, when the numbers were “going up and down”.
“There are some of us who have not slept the entire evening ...
I had about an hour’s rest,” Mthembu said, sipping a cup of coffee.
He said even though it was still early—and results from major metros were not yet in—the party was confident of a good showing.
“The numbers seem to be stabilising ... We think that other smaller parties are being gobbled up, but we seem to be retaining our support base.”
Asked when the party would make public the cost of campaigning, Mthembu said “that would not be made public ... maybe not even in the next year. We will have to discuss that with our NEC first. We are likely to make a declaration in member meetings ... it’s difficult to put a time frame on it.” - Sapa