The biggest loser in this election is the Democratic Alliance (DA), not the African National Congress (ANC), says the party’s acting secretary-general Jessie Duarte.
Duarte said the party was disappointed about the low voter turnout and said they had expected young people to come out and have a say at the polls.
Duarte said the ANC expected to not do as well as it did in the past due to a number of reasons.
“When we did door-to-door, it became clear that there were issues that would soften our votes. We’ve lost 12% of our support since 2016 elections. What is important is that we will continue with the renewal process of the ANC because that’s what supporters are saying: ‘fix the ANC’, and they have accepted that we started with the notion of community selecting their own councillors. That was a big issue on the ground,” said Duarte in an interview with EWN on Tuesday evening.
“Secondly it was the power issue. The fact that Eskom had blackouts really did damage our support base. Covid also had an impact in some areas. There’s been anger which we recorded and registered and saw that this would be a difficult election for us.”
While the ANC lost votes due to people not coming out to vote, the DA was the biggest loser, said Duarte.
“What has happened though in this election though is that the biggest loser is not the ANC, it is the DA. They have lost much more ground than we have. We’ve won a lot of our wards. In Johannesburg it is the Soweto factor and the electricity problem, we can’t deny that. With Tshwane we’ve made some gains and I think we must wait for the results to be finalised. We still feel good about Tshwane. In Ekurhuleni, we’re still where we were,” she said.
As at 10:45pm on Tuesday, the ruling party was still below 50%, with 56% of the national votes having been counted.
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde