Western Cape ANC blames poor voter turnout for its decline in Cape Town

Low voter turnout is to blame for the ANC's decline in Cape Town, the party said. File photo.
Low voter turnout is to blame for the ANC's decline in Cape Town, the party said. File photo.
Image: Phillip Nothnagel

The ANC in the Western Cape has put its electoral decline this week down to a poor voter turnout, especially in its strongholds in Cape Town.

The party's representation in the city is expected to go below the 20% mark. It was at 24.7% in 2016.

Cape Town's results were still to be declared at the time of publishing.

“While we have disappointedly noted a huge decline in voter turnout especially in our strongholds which has directly resulted in an electoral decline overall, we are encouraged and salute the communities who have given us votes in their wards, especially those that were under other political parties,” the provincial ANC said Thursday.

The party's provincial interim working committee acknowledged defeat in the city but celebrated the number of wards it won from the DA in the outlying municipalities where the DA's support has declined.

“We have noted that the DA has lost its majority in no less than 15 municipalities in the province that they won outright in 2016,” said the ANC in a statement.

“We are beginning to see a shift in terms of electoral support for the ANC in those municipalities and also votes that were apportioned to smaller parties.”

The ANC has 12 new wards taken directly from the DA in areas like Cederberg, Breede Valley, Knysna, Delft and Oudtshoorn.

The party is already talking about possible coalition partners in the outlying municipalities to make sure they keep the DA at bay including where the DA has a majority but not enough to govern.

It said with an unprecedented 16 municipalities being declared “hung” councils, a

delegation led by provincial convener Lerumo Kalako has been mandated to begin a process of engaging with other political parties with a view to investigating possibilities of coalition governments.

“The approach of the ANC will always be that of those who share our broad principles of nonracialism, nonsexism, pro-poor and a strict adherence to the rule of law, among others,” it said.

These engagements will also be underpinned by the approach the party's national leadership will adopt at its upcoming special national working committee scheduled to sit on Friday.

“The ANC will work tirelessly and consider coalitions with a clear focus on improving service delivery to the citizens of the Western Cape who have emphatically made their voices heard through the votes.”

The party said while it will make a deeper reflection of its elections report, it will continue to work hard to regain the confidence and trust of the citizens of the province.

Where it is in opposition, the ANC vowed to be the eyes and ears of the people, saying it will hold the DA to account.

“In some councils we will accept the role that the electorate mandated us to be — an effective opposition.”