IEC reveals drop in voter turnout

While the Electoral Commission (IEC) registered 3.3 million potential voters, only 1.8 million people turned up to vote in the Eastern Cape.

IEC provincial head Thami Mraji yesterday said of the 1.8 million votes, 67% of them went to the ruling party.

The DA obtained 850000 of the votes, while the new kids on the block, the EFF, managed to garner 248000, and Bantu Holomisa’s UDM received 198000 votes.

This has seen some councils including the King Sabata Dalindyebo municipality having new opposition parties for the first time.

The EFF scored three seats in KSD, while the newly launched Mthatha Residents and Ratepayers association scored four. The red berets also won seats in Mbizana, Senqu, Mhlontlo, Ntabankulu, PSJ and Ntabankulu municipalities, and six in the Nelson Mandela Metro. The ANC retained a significant majority in the Buffalo City Metro evening scooping some wards from the DA.

The DA scooped two municipalities from the ANC – Nelson Mandela Metro (NMM) and Kouga.

The IEC head also announced the commission recorded 114000 spoilt ballots. Mraji said this year’s local government elections were contested by 40 political parties and 166 independent candidates.

At the time of writing the IEC was still waiting for final results from other municipalities including some parts of the BCM and the OR Tambo district.

The NMM was the first big local authority to count, analyse, audit, scan and capture to completion all of its voting stations results, Mraji said.

Commenting on the party’s loss in NMM, ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said the ANC accepted the outcome of the elections as the will of the people of the province and “notes the clear message of the electorate”.

“While we gained less votes to be outright winners in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, the ANC scored 67.3% victory in the total provincial voter support.

“We thank all the voters who voted for the ANC in these elections and we commit to continue working with them to build better communities where we govern.

“The elections were relatively free and fair and at the same time, we register our concern with the infrastructure the IEC used for some voting stations in these elections,” Mabuyane said.

In an interview with the Saturday Dispatch, ANC BCM mayor elect, who is also the party’s WB Rubusana regional chairman, Xola Pakati, said the party in the region was happy with the results. —

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