What the results say of Nelson Mandela Bay vote
ANC regains ground but warning bells for the DA
Following its historic hammering at the polls three years ago, the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay appears to have regained some ground among its traditional voters.
While this week’s election has no bearing on the political landscape in the council, it is viewed by some as a potential indicator of voter sentiments, one of the variables to be considered ahead of the 2021 local government election.
Although not enough to propel it to a clear majority support, the ANC remained in the lead, hovering around 46% for much of Thursday.
The ANC showed noticeable increases in many of the city’s townships.
The percentage of Bay voters who voted for the DA in the national ballot was 39%, while 7% voted for the EFF.
At the Molefe Primary School in New Brighton, the number of votes the ANC received climbed from 553 in 2016 to 720 on Wednesday.
The trend is to a large extent similar, with it increasing the number of votes cast for it at the Enkululekweni Higher Primary School in Motherwell’s Ward 54 from 1,106 votes in 2016 to 1,307 votes.
At the Imbasa Primary School in Motherwell, it also increased its votes from 1,106 in 2016 to 1,307.
At the Ben Sinuka Primary School in New Brighton, the number of votes for the ANC increased from 641 to 786, while at the Stephen Mazungula Primary School in Kwazakhele, the votes increased from 814 in 2016 to 927.
Political analyst Mcebisi Ndletyana said there was always the possibility that the ANC would do better than it did in 2016 because of what he called the “Cyril factor”.
When the ANC lost control of the metro in 2016, analysis of the results found that the majority of the voters in the townships stayed away in a protest vote against then president Jacob Zuma.
That election came at the height of the scandal-ridden Zuma presidency.
“Jacob Zuma was a widely unpopular figure and his replacement with Cyril [Ramaphosa] revived interest in the ANC,” Ndletyana said.
But the “Cyril factor” was not enough for the ANC to win back a 50% majority in the Bay come local government elections in 2021, Ndletyana said.
“For the Cyril factor to make a huge difference, it would have to be complemented with commitment, trust and belief that the ANC has changed.
“If the ANC comes out in the upper 40s , low 50s, it’s a good sign, because in the 2014 elections they got about 51%.
“If it improves then that is something, but it does not solve the problems of the ANC in the region.“Those remain quite serious,” Ndletyana said.ANC regional task team coordinator Babalwa Lobishe attributed the party’s increase in numbers to its “renewal” campaign.“As the ANC, we are going to change how we interface with people and also how we respond to the service delivery needs of our country.“This is quite a heart-warming one and going forward we are really going to work hard,” Lobishe said.She was very happy with the voter turnout, which she said was averaging at 80% in the ANC’s stronghold areas.The DA won 47% of the vote in Nelson Mandela Bay in the 2016 polls, and this was largely as a result of the voter turnout in suburbs.While the ANC won the majority of wards in the city, the DA surpassed it by clinching a large number of PR votes.The figures from stations that were 100% by Thursday showed that in some of its strongholds the DA’s voter support had dropped.At the Moregrove Primary School, the DA received 1,274 votes – a drop from 1,590 in 2016, and at the Sunridge Park tent, the votes it received dropped from 3,054 in 2016 to 2,582.The picture was similar at the Handhaaf Primary School in Uitenhage, where it dropped from 2,000 votes in 2016 to 1,623 on Wednesday.DA provincial leader Nqaba Bhanga said the manner in which people had voted in the Bay would not affect the outcome of the 2021 local government elections.“The dynamics for local government are different to national elections. The DA is on its path to taking back Nelson Mandela Bay,” Bhanga said.“There is nothing that has changed for the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay, we are doing very well and we are going to take over in the Bay in 2021.”Political analyst Ongama Mtimka said the DA had failed to consolidate the big victory it recorded in 2016.
He also attributed the drop in DA numbers to its policies such as transformation in response to the need to move beyond representing minorities.
He said that those constituents might have moved to the FF Plus.
Mtimka said the DA would have to put in a lot of work to gain ground and improve numbers but it all depended on voter turnout.
“It’s too big a loss for the DA from 47% to 39%.
“What almost undid the ANC in 2016 was because it suffered a similar loss.
“The story here is that the DA has suffered big-time in Nelson Mandela Bay.”
EFF Nelson Mandela Bay chair Lukhanyo Mrara said he was happy with the way people had voted in the metro.
“Our aim was to secure 100 voters at all the voting stations and so far we have reached this goal,” Mrara said.Additional reporting -Rochelle de Kock and Karen van Rooyen