/ 14 March 2024

IFP ‘excited’ as it takes three Newcastle wards off ANC in by elections

Ed 494674
IFP president Velenkosni Hlabisa. (Photos by Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has taken three wards off the ANC in the Newcastle municipality in KwaZulu-Natal in the latest round of by-elections, which were held on Wednesday.

In doing so it has consolidated its control over the municipality – which it took off the ANC in the 2021 local government elections – and continued to build on the run of by-elections wins it has secured around the province since then.

According to figures released by the Electoral Commission of South Africa, in Newcastle’s Ward 12, the IFP received 1 973 votes, followed by the ANC (763 votes), Team Sugar South Africa (TSSA), which took  256 votes and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) (94 votes).

The same pattern was played out in ward 19, where the IFP took 1 566 votes, ahead of the ANC (732), TSSA with 137 and the EFF with 65 and in ward 23, where the IFP  took 1 498 votes, the ANC 315, TSSA 213 and the EFF 0.

All three wards had been “safe” ANC wards which it had taken with between 53% and 64% of the vote in November 2021, with the IFP almost trebling its previous share of the vote in Wednesday’s election.

The results have pleased the IFP’s leadership, who believe the party can go on to dislodge the ANC and regain control of KwaZulu-Natal in the coming national and provincial elections.

IFP KwaZulu-Natal provincial chairperson Thami Ntuli said the party was “excited” by its “resounding success’ in the latest by elections.

“These results again underscore the significant growing support for the IFP,” said Ntuli. 

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our supporters, volunteers, and structures for their unwavering dedication to our party.”

Ntuli said the three new councillors – Musawenkosi Radebe, Nelisiwe Njoko and Ntsetselelo Thela –  would be expected to “serve the people with dedication, honesty and humility.’

Ntuli said the results would serve to “bolster our confidence” and that the party – which launched its manifesto for the 2024 national and provincial elections at the weekend – was “determined to build on this momentum.”

The ANC retained ward 6 in the Umshwathi Municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands, where its candidate, Sphamandla Shezi took 72.46% of the vote, up on the 69.84% it got in 2021.

The IFP took 25.59 % of the vote, followed by the EFF, which got a total of 2.07% (34 votes).

The governing party also retained ward 17 in the Moretele Municipality in North West, where ANC candidate Solani Mashele took 76.17% of the vote, a slight increase on the 71.09% it received in 2021.

In the by-election for ward 16 in Gauteng’s Emfuleni Municipality, the ANC also kept control, taking 38,11% of the total votes cast, compared to 37.70% during  2021.

The ANC’s Taliyana Zinyana won the ward, beating off a challenge from the Patriotic Alliance (33%), the Democratic Alliance (DA), which got 27% and  the EFF (2%).