Fikile Mbalula welcomes ANC by-elections victory

Transport minister and ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula. File image.
Transport minister and ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula. File image.
Image: Sunday Times

ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula has welcomed the party's wins in Wednesday's by-elections.

The ANC retained 10 of its wards and won a further two — from the DA in the Western Cape and from the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The ANC is humbled by the confidence the voters continue to demonstrate in its leadership, as demonstrated by these outcomes,” Mbalula said in a statement.

The by-elections took place against the backdrop of the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa of the date for the next local government elections. 

“We welcome the president’s announcement of October 27 as the date on which South Africans will go to the polls to vote for local government, which brings certainty on the matter,” said Mbalula.

He said the ANC would not support any postponement of the elections, unless such a proposal was based on a recommendation by the Electoral Commission and supported by scientific rationale that holding an election would place the lives of citizens at risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are confident that our consistently growing support, demonstrated at each by-election, clearly demonstrates the resonance of our message and efforts to improve the conditions of our people on the ground with the electorate,” said Mbalula. 

He said his party will continue to ensure that its campaign for this year's election was “grounded on humility” and the commitment to make a better life for all becomes a lived reality.

Though the opposition DA only managed to hold onto one ward in the City of Cape Town while losing a ward to the ANC in Knysna, its leader John Steenhuisen said there were encouraging trends in the results.

In this regard we welcome yesterday’s announcement that the elections will take place on October 27. The right to vote for your government is one of the most fundamental rights enshrined in our constitution,” he said.

In a time when South Africans have, over the course of the past year, been forced to surrender to government many of their other hard-fought democratic rights, it is critical that these elections take place and that the balance of power swings back to the citizens, where it belongs.”

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