The ANC won the battle for Gauteng, the country’s economic hub, but its support dropped in the province, according to preliminary results released on Saturday.
The governing party garnered 53.59% (2 348 564 votes) which was less than the 64.04% support it enjoyed in 2009. This was the ANC’s worst provincial performance in 2014.
Gauteng was the last province to complete counting, and was hotly contested by the ANC, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and new comers the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
The DA retained its position as the official opposition in the province with 30.78% (1 349 001 votes). This was an increase from the 21.86% support it received in 2009.
Julius Malema’s EFF garnered the third highest support with 10.30% (52 436 votes). The EFF has claimed that there was foul play in the Gauteng results. A complaint had been lodged with the Electoral Commission (IEC).
On Thursday, it called for an audit of the elections and votes in the province. “There are many incidents of lost ballots and ballots found in bins across Gauteng, and it appears that the IEC is colluding with the ANC to prevent the reality that the ANC might go below 50% in Gauteng,” EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said at the time.
He said that during the counting of the voting results, the numbers for the ANC in Gauteng were dwindling. “At exactly 5.59pm the ANC was at 50.21% of the Gauteng vote and immediately after that, the Gauteng results started to slow down and almost came to an absolute halt because the ANC was heading towards below 50% of the Gauteng vote,” Ndlozi said. He said the EFF suspected foul play.
The IEC is releasing the final results at 6pm on Saturday. Support for the Congress of the People, which had the third highest support in Gauteng in 2009, dwindled. The party mustered a mere 0.49% (21 652 votes) compared to the 7.78% support it had in the last election.
The Freedom Front Plus came in fourth place in Gauteng with 1.2% (52 436 votes), which was a slight drop from the 1.63% it had in 2009, while the Inkatha Freedom Party came in fifth with 0.78% (34 240 votes) down from 1.49% in 2009.
According to the IEC 4 382 163 valid votes were cast in Gauteng, with 42 261 spoilt votes. Voter turnout in the province was 72.97%, down from 75.6% in 2009. –Sapa