/ 2 June 2024

KwaZulu-Natal leads voter turnout, Jacob Zuma’s MK party dominates provincial and national ballots

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Supporters of Jacob Zuma's uMkhonto weSizwe party (MK), celebrate as they win almost 46% of the vote in KwaZulu-Natal and almost 15% nationally on June 2, 2024, in KwaXimba.(Photo by Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images)

KwaZulu-Natal had the largest voter turnout in the country, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said at the provincial Result Operation Centre on Sunday night.

More than 1.58 million voters (45.35%) threw their weight behind Jacob Zuma’s newly formed MK party on their provincial ballots, with the party gaining more than double the support of the IFP, which received 631 503 (18.03%) votes.

The ANC took the third spot with 595 421votes (17%), followed by the Democratic Alliance with 468 484  (13,38%), the Economic Freedom Fighters with 79 168 (2.26%) and National Freedom Party with 19 534 (0.56%). Moodley Thanasagren Rubbanathan, the province’s only independent candidate to contest the elections, received 12 323 votes (0.35%).

On the national ballot, more than 1.6 million voters (45.93%) threw their weight behind MK, with the party gaining more than double the support of the ANC, which received 618 811 (17.64%) votes. The Inkatha Freedom Party took the third spot with 570 225 votes (16.26%), followed by the Democratic Alliance with 479 357 (13.67%).

The picture on the regional ballot was similar, with MK winning 1 570 704 votes (44.89%), the IFP taking 638 242 (18.24%), the ANC 602 989 (17.24%), the DA 471 805 (13.49%), the EFF 83 430 (2.38%), the NFP 20 702 (0.59%) and the ACDP with 11 583 (0.33%).

These were among the election results IEC provincial manager for election operations Sandile Maphumulo announced on Sunday evening.

Maphumulo said a total of 3 565 809 voters cast their national ballots and there were 58 266 spoilt votes, while 3 542 343 people cast their provincial ballot with  39 679 spoilt votes. A total of 3 535 618 voters cast their regional ballot and there were 36 993 spoilt votes in this category.

IEC provincial officer Ntombifuthi Masinga said a total of 5,9 million ballots were printed of each ballot type to ensure there were sufficient ballots should all 5,7 million registered voters turn up on election day.

She said IEC staff had worked hard in difficult circumstances to ensure voting went smoothly and had been up until 4am on Sunday morning dealing with objections.

“People expected this province to burn at some point but it didn’t and the elections happened,” Masinga said.

KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube said it was concerning that there were 39 679 spoilt provincial ballots as this almost equated to a seat in parliament that a party would have lost.

Dube-Ncube congratulated the province’s citizens for turning out in their numbers on election day. 

“I also wish to commend all the citizens of this province, because we have registered the highest voter turnout in this country, even higher beyond the national average at 61%,” she said. 

“This is a seminal moment in the life of our fledgling democracy. Today, our country stands at a pivotal juncture. The citizens have spoken, and we are all now the subjects of the profound impact of every ballot that was cast over the few days of the voting. 

Dube-Ncube said the country’s democracy had  “proven to be resilient”.

“That’s because our people have been able to express their preference without fear in the environment of political tolerance that matches the best in the world as we are now poised to usher in the seventh administration since the 1994 breakthrough. We continue to set the standard of managing these processes,” she said.