The Ruling African National Congress (ANC) has lost one ward in Polokwane to the Economic Freedom Fighters in the just concluded by-elections conducted on Wednesday.
The EFF won in ward 10 in Polokwane in Limpopo amidst strong contest with the ANC and Forum 4 Service Delivery after the ANC ward councillor resigned.
The ANC won the ward during the local government elections with 55.08% of the vote but the Wednesday by-election showed that EFF’s Jonas Mothapo took 54.21% of the vote
Out of the Fifteen by-elections which took place across six provinces, the ANC retained power in 13 of the wards — all six contested in the Eastern Cape, three in KwaZulu-Natal, one in Limpopo, two in Mpumalanga and one in the Western Cape.
The ANC said the results showed the continued confidence the electorate had in the party.
“To us, retaining control of the 13 wards means we need to continue accelerating our efforts in dealing with challenges facing our people – acting faster to create jobs, fight crime and deal decisively with corruption,” spokesman Zizi Kodwa said.
The DA, which is considered South Africa’s second largest political party after the ANC, retained Ward 2 in the Kgatelopele municipality in the Northern Cape.
Celebrating its victory, the party said on Thursday that the by-election helped it to achieve a “significant surge in growth” in all the by-elections held.
While the DA and the EFF celebrate growth in the percentage of support, the ANC’s electoral support dropped by eight percentage points in the August 3 local government elections. The party also lost control of four of the country’s eight metros to the DA.
The party on Thursday expressed concern about low voter turnout in Wednesday’s by-elections and others before them.
The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) statistics has it that only 42,368 people voted on Wednesday – less than half of the 97,385 registered to do so.