The African National Congress (ANC) has retained its ward in the hotly contested Metsimaholo municipality in the Free State, following a by-election on Wednesday.
The by-election was held in Ward 12 following the resignation of the ANC councillor.
The outcome left the ANC with 18 seats, followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) with 12, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) eight, the Metsimaholo Community Association (MCA) three, and the Freedom Front Plus one.
The EFF had hoped to win the ward to bolster its plans to make the municipality the first it governed without being in a coalition with the DA.
It is currently run by a DA-led coalition with the MCA, backed by EFF votes.
However, both the EFF and the DA have accused the MCA of collaborating with the ANC, and want to remove the mayor, MCA leader Sello Hlasa.
A special sitting for a motion of no confidence in Hlasa, planned for Tuesday, was postponed indefinitely. EFF and DA leaders were expected to meet on Thursday to finalise a new deal.
The ANC took Ward 11 in the Western Cape's George municipality from the DA during other by-elections on Wednesday.
"The people of Metsimaholo have rejected the inexperienced EFF, who had high hopes of winning the ward," ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.
The ANC retained Ward 3 in the Eastern Cape’s Umzimvubu municipality, and Ward 25 in George, Western Cape, Kodwa said.