Early indications are that the ANC has taken a serious knock in KwaZulu-Natal, where, based on votes currently counted, it is expected to slip to 56.68 %, a drop of nearly 10 %.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in conjunction with the SABC, predicted the loss in support by the governing party in the province based on the declared results of 20% of the province’s 4 885 voting districts.
The numbers are a major blow for the ANC which had consolidated its support in the province since 2004 when it took 47.4% of the vote.
In 2009 the governing party took 63.97% of the vote in the province, capitalising on the wave of popularity of then party president Jacob Zuma.
The ANC in the province also bucked the national trend of lost support in 2014, with its slice of the vote increasing to 65.31% in KwaZulu-Natal.
The ANC has, however, maintained its outright majority in the province, allowing it to govern KwaZulu-Natal without a coalition partner.
The party’s numbers are also likely to improve once votes in Durban and Pietermaritzburg — where the province’s largest number of sizeable voter districts are located — are counted.
The IFP appears to have made something of a comeback in the province, where, according to the CSIR, it was scheduled to take 15.13% of the vote. The party only secured 10.17% in 2014, a drop from its 2009 figure of 20.52%. This current election’s improvement is attributable to the implosion of the National Freedom Party (NFP), which took less than 1% of the vote.
The improvement will place the IFP ahead of the Democratic Alliance (DA), regaining its status as official opposition in the province.
According to the CSIR, the DA was likely to take 14.52% in KwaZulu-Natal, an improvement on its 2014 figure of 13.3%.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were set to take 8% of the vote, a significant improvement on its 1.97% in 2014. It’s showing was also expected to improve once the Durban results, which are expected to be finalised by Friday morning, are in.
More than 5.8 million votes were cast in the province, which has a population of 26.75 million, a voter turnout of 65.5%.
Four people were arrested by the SAPS for alleged electoral fraud in the province, according to the Electoral Commission of South Africa.