/ 28 October 2023

ANC takes ward off DA-IFP coalition in eThekwini, halting slide

The 54th National Conference Of The African National Congress Party (anc)
Thirty years into its rule, the NP faced the reality of its demise. The ANC faces a similar reality

The ANC has ended its losing streak against the opposition coalition in KwaZulu-Natal, taking eThekwini’s ward 9 off the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the latest round of by-elections.

The governing party’s candidate, Siyabonga Nala, took 70.34% of the total votes cast, nearly twice what the party took in November 2021, and defeated the DA (28.07%), which previously held the ward.

The by-election was called after Pearl Msomi, the DA councillor for the ward, which covers Hillcrest and Molweni, died in June.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) did not field a candidate through their arrangement with the DA and instead backed that party’s Sibusiso Malunga.

However, this time out the arrangement did not work, and the ANC took the ward, finally ending a run of 10 by-election losses to the DA-IFP coalition.

The party’s provincial leadership welcomed the result, saying that it was a sign that the ANC was set to retain power in the face of a challenge from the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa in next year’s national and provincial elections.

“The ANC has cocked a snook at the multi-party charter by overwhelmingly trouncing them in what should be seen as a dress rehearsal for the 2024 provincial and national elections,” provincial spokesperson Mafika Mndebele said.

The ANC retained ward 6 in the Thaba Chweu municipality in Mpumalanga, where its candidate, Siphiwe Mhlanga, took 44.71% of the vote.

The result saw the ANC get significantly fewer votes in the ward than in November 2021, when it took 77.81% of the vote, but more than enough to hold off challenges from an independent candidate, the African Christian Democratic Party, the Freedom Front Plus and the African Unity Movement.

In eKhuruleni’s ward 23, DA candidate Arthur Goslin won 96.44% of the vote, up on the 84.96% that it secured in the last local government poll. 

The ANC’s Rosslyn Alexander got 83 votes out of nearly 7 000 cast, while Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) candidate Mmapule Aphane got 23.

In Lekwa municipality in Mpumalanga, independent Jacobus Stoltz, who had previously stood as an Freedom Front Plus candidate, retained the ward with 71.97% of the vote.

Stoltz beat candidates from his former party, the ANC, the EFF and the DA to improve on his performance in 2021.