The ANC Dips under 50% Average As IEC Concludes Election Cycle

South Africans took to the polls on 1 November for the local government elections led by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and three days later, elections have officially been declared free and fair. Elections have brought a new outlook in the country’s running of local government. 

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Speaking during the results announcement on Thursday evening, IEC Chairperson, Glen Mashinini said the electoral commission is delighted to announce that it has satisfied itself that the conditions for free and fair elections were met, and that the results for 213 councils are declared as final.

He said that about 12.3-million people cast their ballots in Monday's vote, out of the nearly 26.1-million registered voters. Overall, he said, the ANC won the most of the country's 213 municipalities.

Mashinini however stated that, for the first time in the history of the elections in South Africa, no party achieved majority in 66 municipalities which have been declared as hung councils.

The DA retained control in the City of Cape Town with 58.22%, down from the 66.7% it got in the 2016 local government election.

The ANC won with outright majority in two municipalities Mangaung and Buffalo City where it got 50.63% and 59.3% respectively.

This means the ANC failed to get outright majority in the metros it was governing, including Johannesburg, eThekwini and Ekurhuleni where it got 33.60%, 42.02% and 38.18% respectively.

The City of Johannesburg became the most contested with the DA and ANC losing ground to the new kid on the block, Action SA, achieving a share of 16.05%. The DA also lost some ground in Nelson Mandela Metro though it has emerged victorious with 39.92% above the ANC's 39.43%.

The EFF’s highest achievement in the metros emerged at Ekurhuleni where it received a share of 13.57% and 12.06% at Buffalo City – with 11.31% in Tshwane.

Although the ANC has received majority of the votes in these municipalities, including Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay, it will need the help of other political parties to form governments.

Declaring the results, Mashinini said the IEC was able to deliver a free and fair election despite a number of challenges it faced including the novel Covid-19 pandemic, a short timeframe of just 42 days and power interruptions among others.  

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