|South African municipal elections 2016
ON THIS PAGE: South Africa's ruling party loses votes in cities ||| Results from provinces and major cities |||
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|Coalition talks start as
South Africa’s ruling party
loses votes in cities
8 August 2016: South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), emerged from last week’s local elections wounded but largely still in command of the country. The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), made headlines by emerging as the strongest party in urban Nelson Mandela Bay, which includes Port Elizabeth, and in Tshwane Metro (Pretoria). The DA also made gains in its urban strongholds in the Western Cape province, where it won more than 60 per cent of the vote in both Cape Town and Stellenbosch. But nationwide, the party only managed to increase its share of the vote by three percentage points. The main beneficiary of the ANC’s losses was the new Marxist-socialist party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which was only founded in 2013.
Compared to 2011, the year municipal elections were last held, the ANC’s share of the national vote fell from 62 to 54 per cent, while the DA improved its national tally from 24 to 27 per cent. The EFF, which did not exist in 2011, captured more than eight per cent of the national vote. It came second in the northern provinces of North West and Limpopo. The influence of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), once the principal challenger to the ANC, diminished further. Only in its provincial stronghold KwaZulu-Natal enjoys the party still measurable support.
While the DA’s successes in Nelson Mandela Bay and Pretoria made international headlines, it would need the support of other parties to govern. The ideological differences between the centrist DA and the radical leftist EFF would make it almost impossible to form stable alliances. Local ANC leaders are therefore confident that they will continue to remain in government. The EFF leadership said it was open to talks with all parties.
In Johannesburg, South Africa’s business and financial hub, the ANC remained the strongest party but lost overall control. It could form an administration with the support of the EFF but business leaders hope for an ANC/DA coalition. “Ideologically, the two parties are far more closely aligned than either would be with the EFF, especially in business-focused Johannesburg. If either were to form a coalition with the EFF, there would be constant horse-trading and politicking on a much more frequent scale. This is not conducive to a strong, progressive local government in the country’s most important municipality,” wrote the Mail & Guardian newspaper in a leader.
National and regional results
ANC = African National Congress
DA = Democratic Alliance
EFF = Economic Freedom Fighters
IFP = Inkatha Freedom Party