The 2021 local government election results were confirmed on Thursday and once again, the African National Congress (ANC) won majority of propositional representation in support, albeit unconvincingly.
2021 Elections: ANC gets rude awakening
Years of administrative mismanagement in local government, coupled with rampant state-level corruption culminated in an election victory the ANC will be wary about celebrating.
If anything, the party’s leadership would have breathed a sigh of relief in response to the 46.03% of voters who were tolerant — and loyal — enough to give them a chance.
There was never a great deal of optimism in the ANC taking over the City of Cape Town, but for Ramaphosa, retaining power or reemerging as majority victors in the seven other metropolitans must have been crucial.
But, as the numbers indicate, a mixture of loss in support and voter fatigue contributed to the party’s biggest slump in the history of the municipal elections.
Here is a look at how the ANC performed in South Africa’s eight metros, in comparison to the 2016 municipal elections:
|City of Cape Town||16.94%||24.36%||-7.42|
|Nelson Mandela Bay||39.43%||40.92%||-1.49|
Small parties gained, ‘big wigs’ faltered
The ANC is not the only ruling party with a lot to take to the drawing board. The Democratic Alliance (DA) suffered a great deal with a -5.28 percentage drop in support.
In 2021, the official opposition party garnered 5 046 380 votes, turning over 1 362 council seats. This is a -2 985 914 drop in votes and -420 council seats.
The Economic Freedom Fighters, on the other hand, made strides in the growth of their support base, however negligible the increase may have been.
This makes the Julius Malena-led party kingmakers in municipalities where coalition is possible.
Small parties like the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), National Freedom Party (NFP), the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (ICOSA) and others netted positive gains.
Support for the IFP grew by 1.42 percentage points to 5.67%, while the NFP’s growth in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) turned in 0.51%, a marked improvement from the dismal 0.02% representation in 2016.
ICOSA managed to scrape a 0.08% turnout in support, a positive change from the measly 0.01% the party garnered in the previous municipal elections.
Freedom Front Plus proved to be the biggest thorn on the side of the DA with an epic snubbing that saw the party gain a total of 2.37% voter support, a 1.6% increase from 2016.
Perhaps, the highlight of the 2021 elections came from Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA. In its first election run-in, the newly founded party won 34 seats in Gauteng and 12 in KZN.
For a political party that did not contest in all municipalities, a total of 2.26% in voter support will mpress its leadership, to say the least.