It’s a battle of wards between the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) currently, and while the latter party is confident they will retain wards they took over from the former party, DA leader John Steenhuisen says they are confident of outpacing the competition.
As voting tallies come into the results operation centre (ROC) in Tshwane, with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) confident that 90% will have been counted by Tuesday night, the ANC seems to be in the lead nationally, followed by the DA and then the EFF.
FF+, which showed growth at the national government elections in 2019, showed gains and after taking over some wards from the DA in the initial count, and the party is confident it will remain that way, said MP Wouter Wessels.
He said they had previously won two wards in Lekwa Local Municipality, which they took over from the DA. Three wards were also taken by the FF+ in the Northern Cape, Wessels said.
“It’s early days but we are confident that we are sustaining our growth since 2019 and we see consolidated growth in Tshwane… in the voting district, we have more than doubled our votes in 2016.”
“Unofficially, it looks as if we have retained the wards that we did have [from the DA] and also gained a few other wards in the Western Cape as well… We are excited and believe we will be the kingmaker in many municipalities where there is no majority party. We see that in Lesedi Local Municipality and Cederberg [Local Municipality] in the Western Cape, which are a few examples of hung municipalities currently,” he said.
Steenhuisen, however disagrees, stating that they have won back wards from the FF+ in the North West province.
While it seemed that many DA voters had crossed over to the FF+, Steenhuisen said they had managed to reduce FF+ votes.
“We won back the two wards they had in Potchefstroom… and reduced their [FF+] numbers in large parts.”
Steenhuisen confirmed during a midday media briefing at the ROC that his party had won the Kouga Local Municipality in Western Cape.
Speaking to The Citizen, he said he was excited by the growth achieved in ANC wards.
“I think it’s all going to push up the national votes and also winning back Eesterust from the Patriotic Alliance in Tshwane – which makes a big difference. Our push is trying to get across the finish line nicely in Tshwane as well. It is really early days,” he said.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that only 12.1 million voters made it to their voting stations over the special votes weekend and election day on Monday. IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said 90,000 registered voters were a no-show.