The urns have been closed 12 hours ago and the counting of the votes in the most anticipated local elections is underway.
The results will be a first indication where the recent scandals and problems in South Africa lead the voters that were loyal to the ANC over almost three decades, despite the fact that only 12 million out of 26 million voters actually cast their vote; a sad lack of appreciation of all the struggles and hardships suffered to achieve democracy and free and fair elections.
In first indications, the ANC has lost Mandela Bay and the votes are still tight for the race for the six Johannesburg municipalities. The DA has lost a lot of votes in the Western Cape but seems to remain in the driver seat of almost all municipalities except for Overberg, a traditional EFF stronghold.
The ANC has held onto its majority in the Blue Crane Route Municipality in the Eastern Cape, this municipality includes Cookhouse, Pearston, and Somerset East.
Herman Mashaba’s new political party Action SA is headed towards Johannesburg’s civic centre in Braamfontein, with the recently formed party delivering some significant body blows to the ANC in Soweto. The party, which was formed shortly after Mashaba’s acrimonious departure from the DA in 2019, has reduced the votes for the ANC from 70% to 55% and thereby taken a number of wards from the ANC in Soweto, which is considered the governing party’s traditional struggle home.
After one third of the votes have been counted, the overall picture shows 38.3% (2016: 53.9%) for the ANC, 28.2% (2016: 26.9%) for the DA, 14.2% (2016: 8.2%) for the EFF, 1.8% (2016: 4.2%) for the IFP and 3.7% (2016: 0.8%) for VF Plus while Newcomer Action SA gives its debut with 6.08%.