The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) appears set to retain control of Nkandla Local Municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal, including the ward where former president Jacob Zuma resides.
As the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) continues to count votes from Monday’s local government elections, the IFP appears to be on track to take over control of five of KZN’s 11 district municipalities. This means the IFP would add three districts to its tally of two districts won in the 2016 municipal polls.
The party is likely to take the districts of King Cetshwayo, Zululand and uMkhanyakude.
While the IEC was still yet to announce the official election results in Nkandla, at 9am on Wednesday, vote counting stood at 98% in the area. The IFP garnered 57.19% of votes followed by the ANC at 34.31%.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) was the third biggest party in Nkandla with 2.59% votes while independent candidates got 2.78%.
The IFP has also made major gains in Nkandla after winning 12 out of 14 wards in the area, including ward 14 (61.61%) where Zuma lives.
IFP’s resurgence in KZN
The revival of the IFP’s electoral support in KwaZulu-Natal – which covers its stronghold north KZN and the western parts of the province – has been largely attributed to infighting among ANC members, which has led to poor governance of municipalities it controls.
At a provincial level, the ANC’s voter support appears to be waning at 42.2% followed by the IFP at 25.36%. The Democratic Alliance (DA) was set to remain the third biggest party in the province with 11.77% followed by the National Freedom Party (NFP) at 2.33%.
In the 2016 municipal elections, the ANC got 57.48% of votes, the IFP 18.39% and the DA 15.16%.