'2016 local elections an historic moment for SA'

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says the local elections results are a celebration of democracy.

DA Leader Mmusi Maimane took time out to talk to and take pictures with people at the IEC National Results centre in Pretoria on 4 August 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has described the 2016 local government elections as an historic moment for South Africa and a critical tipping point in governance.

Maimane is giving a briefing at the Independent Electoral Commission National Results Centre in Tshwane.

He says these elections signal a turning point in South Africa.

"Certainly without doubt this has been one of the more historic elections and one we frame as a critical tipping for the people of South Africa.

"And with nearly all the votes counted, it's now clear that the people of South Africa heard our message and they came out to vote for change."

Maimane says the elections results are a celebration of democracy.

"I think the ANC has governed South Africa with absolute impunity, without consideration of the people of this country. Millions of people have lost their jobs and these elections in some ways was about that. It was about the story of those who are unemployed and what hope is there."

This year's elections have been highly contested with political parties going neck and neck in major metropolitan municipalities.

With 99 percent of the vote for Tshwane counted as at 11am, it appears the DA has secured the capital city with 43.14 percent, the ANC has clinched 41.2 percent while the Economic Freedom Fighters is on 11.7.

Maimane also says the DA has reached out to other parties on the possibility of coalition governments in Gauteng major metros.

While final ballots must still be captured, The ANC has not secured at outright majority in Tshwane, Jo'burg and Ekurhuleni, which makes coalitions an inevitability.

Maimane gave an update at the national results operations centre in Tshwane this morning.

He says the party is not desperate to get into any government and any coalition will be the product of negotiations.

"We'll work with people whose interests are for the people of South Africa, and if that objective can't be met, if that can't advance the course of delivery in South Africa, in no uncertain term, we'll go into coalition if that objective is undermined."

He also says the party has no pre-conditions for a coalition.

"I'd rather talk about 'do we agree to advance the lives of the people of South Africa' and then put out a programme of action that will achieve that."

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma is expected to attend the final announcement of the municipal elections results at the Electoral Commission's Result Centre in Pretoria this evening.

Presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga says, "President Jacob Zuma will today, at 5:30am, attend the announcement of the municipal elections results at the invitation of the IEC."