The IFP and the EFF have made the biggest gains in KwaZulu-Natal, with both parties significantly increasing their representation in the provincial legislature at the cost of the ANC and the NFP.
With the final votes in the province counted, the ANC as emerged as the biggest loser with its 42 seats in the legislature, dropping 10 from the 52 it secured in 2014.
The IFP, which has regained its status as official opposition to the ANC in the province, now has 14 seats in the 81 seat legislature, three more than the DA, which it has replaced as the official opposition.
The EFF, which appears to have benefited from the higher voter turnout among first time voters in the province, increased its number of seats from the two it secured in 2014 to eight, significant growth in a province where it was not expected to do well.
The NFP’s losses to the IFP were significant: the party, hard hit by the illness of its leader, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, only managed to scrape two seats in the legislature, where it had previously occupied six.
The ANC took 54.22 % of the vote in the province, with the IFP securing 16.34 %.
Acting provincial election head Ntombifuthi Masinga said the province had the highest proportion of first time voters around the country.
She said that several polling stations where IEC staff had felt ‘’threatened’’, a group of ‘’contingency staff’’ from the SAPS and the SANDF who had been trained in electoral procedures had taken over and run the polling stations.
She said counting at each polling station in the province had been monitored by party agents from at least three political parties to maintain the integrity of the results.