The Democratic Alliance (DA) is “quite excited” about the “incredible growth” it has shown in the 2016 local government election‚ its leader Mmusi Maimane said at the Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC’s) operations centre in Tshwane on Thursday.
“We also see that in the metros we targeted and wanted to grow in‚ such as Tshwane‚ where there have been some excellent results in communities like Mamelodi‚ in the preliminary results‚ that we have grabbed some wards‚” said Maimane.
“We have also seen that there has been some growth in Joburg and Nelson Mandela Bay and we are very confident about that particular metro‚” he said.
“We also celebrate that in the City of Cape Town under Patricia De Lille‚ we have increased our majority‚ showing that where we govern‚ people actually recognise that the DA gives the best offer for basic services.”
By Thursday afternoon‚ the African National Congress (ANC) was leading the national tally with 53.64% of the vote‚ followed by the DA with 27.36%‚ the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) with 4.91% and first time contenders the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with 7.48%.
Maimane said the turnout in Wednesday’s polls was a reflection that South Africans had voted with their heads and not their hearts.
The IEC announced earlier that the voter turnout of 58.29% in the 2016 local government elections was just “slightly higher” than the 57.6% recorded in 2011.
The 2011 figure was the highest since the first municipal election in 2000‚ with 23.65-million people registered to vote. This year there are 26.3-million registered voters.
“The scoreboard is a big reflection on any leader…‚ it doesn’t matter which party you lead. At the end of the day‚ South Africans will assess how well you have done on the scoreboard‚” said Maimane.
Asked whether the DA would enter into coalitions with the EFF or the ANC‚ Maimane said it was “early days yet”.
“Let’s look at the scoreboard and see what happens subsequent to the final results being tallied. We not writing off anybody because our job is to make sure we govern for the people of this country and govern as best as we can‚” he said.
Pressed on whether the DA would consider the ANC as an alliance partner‚ Maimane said:
“We ran an election on the basis of the fact that we have asked people to vote for change‚ so I think there’s something in that that is important for South Africans.
“We have contested that ANC [and] they have shown their track record in these elections and they have shown it is not what South Africans want. We will put the best coalition on the table”.
Tiso Black Star Group Digital