As the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) continued counting and capturing votes from Monday’s local government elections on Tuesday, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) appears on track to be the biggest winner in KwaZulu-Natal.
The party looks set to take control of five of KwaZulu-Natal’s 11 district municipalities — a massive increase on the two districts it took in 2016, and consolidation of the ground it regained in the province in the 2019 national and provincial elections.
According to IEC figures at 4.30pm on Tuesday, the IFP had taken 27.52% of the vote in the province, second to the ANC, which had taken 42.74%. A total of 1.9-million people voted in KwaZulu-Natal, representing a turnout of 35%.
The Democratic Alliance, which lost its official opposition status in the province to the IFP in 2019, had 9.4% of the vote overall, but appeared to have taken control of the Umngeni local municipality.
This is the first time that the DA has taken control of a municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.
The IEC said all the province’s votes had been counted at station level and were being captured and audited by the electoral body.
Full results had been received from three of the small municipalities — eNdumeni, eMadlangeni and Mooi Mpofana — and were still being audited. The eThekwini metro was expected to be completed last, according to provincial electoral officer Mawethu Mosery.
Counting at AbaQulusi and uMdoni municipalities was delayed because of power outages and system issues, but the counting teams relocated to other offices to try to offset the delays. Mosery said exceptions were still being cleared in a number of eThekwini wards.
At Mkhambathini, in the Umgungundlovu district, counting for the eight voting stations that had been affected by protests had to be relocated to another site because of security threats and the “volatility in the community.”
At Adams College in eThekwini’s ward 32, counting also had to be moved after community members “interfered with the voting process” and police had to be called in.