The Democratic Alliance (DA) has won off the ANC another ward in the Cape Town Metro (Ward 99, in Mitchells Plein). This is the seventh ward the DA has won off the ANC since April last year, and the sixth in the Western Cape. Elsewhere, the DA held and grew its support in every by-election it contested.
Ahead of next year's local government elections, the message is clear: where the DA governs, it delivers better services than the ANC, for all of the people; and so, increasingly, people are turning to the DA and rejecting the ANC. The DA continues to grow, establishing itself as a party of government for all the people, and the only viable alternative to the ANC.
The results of the ward 99 by-election are as follows:
DA: 51.8% (2 958 votes) [2006: 19% (1 107 votes)]
ANC: 41.2 % (2 355) [2006: 43% (2 510)]
PAC: 1.1% (65)
Independent: 5.9% (337)
ID: [2006: 23% (1 345)]
From the 2006 local government elections, the DA has increased its percentage of the vote in ward 99 from 19% to 52% (and from 1 107 votes to 2 958); while the ANC's share of the vote declined from 43% to 41% (and from 2 510 votes to 2 355). The ward constitutes further evidence that smaller opposition parties split the vote and put the ANC in power (the ID did not stand in this by-election).
Significantly, the ANC poured a huge amount of its time and resources into the Ward 99 by-election, in an attempt to stop haemorrhaging support to the DA. Naledi Pandor, Trevor Manuel and Membathisi Mdladlana campaigned in the area, as did Julius Malema. The party even went so far as to encourage the participation of an independent candidate, to try and split the DA's vote. It didn't work. The damage the ANC did when it governed the Western Cape runs deep and, faced with a choice between a party that delivers for all of the people, and one concerned with patronage, ward 99 rejected cronyism and voted for service delivery.
The six other wards the DA has won off the ANC in the last year are as follows:
Randfontein (Ward 8) (Gauteng)
City of Cape Town (Ward 32) (Atlantis)
Overstrand (Ward 1)
Breede Valley (Ward 10)
City of Cape Town (Ward 44) (Heideveld/Gugulethu)
Theewaterskloof (Ward 12)
Elsewhere, the DA competed in a further 13 by-elections. In every instance the party maintained its support and, in the majority of cases, increased its support: In Beaufort West, the DA won two wards off ICOSA (Wards 3 and 5) and in Madibeng in the North West Province, the DA comfortably retained Ward 30. In Mpumalanga, the DA significantly increased its share of the vote.
Tonight's results bode very well for the municipal elections next year where the DA hope to continue this trend of sustained growth.