Four by-elections were held across the country on Wednesday, with each seat being defended successfully by the incumbents.
The DA successfully defended two seats, as did the IFP.
In Modimolle-Mookgophong (Nylstroom) the DA retained its seat relatively easily, winning nearly 70% of the vote. Its only real challenge came from the VF+, which won nearly 30% of the vote.
It was a similar story in Tshwane where the DA also defended a safe ward. Here the party won more than three quarters of the vote with the only resistance coming from the VF+ again, which won just under 20% of the vote.
The other two by-elections were held in KwaZulu-Natal.
In Umvoti (Greytown) in central KwaZulu-Natal the IFP fought off a strong challenge from the ANC. The IFP won 49.7% of the vote, against the ANC’s 45.1%. In last year’s local government elections the ANC won less than 30% of the vote in the ward – the party seemingly benefited from the collapse in support for the Abantu Batho Congress (ABC). In last year’s local government elections the ABC had won nearly 20% of the vote but on Wednesday it secured less than 4%. It is likely that many of those voters decided to support the ANC in the by-election.
In Umfolozi, north of Richards Bay, the IFP found the going a bit easier, winning more than two thirds of the vote on Wednesday, compared to the 57% it won in last year’s municipal poll. The ANC was the only real challenger, winning just under a quarter of the vote.
Overall the DA and the IFP will be happy with their days’ work, although the ANC will be heartened by its performance in Umvoti and the VF+ continues to nip at the DA’s heels in certain municipalities.