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ANC battles to maintain power grip in SA’s key economic hubs

The party has for the first time declined to below 60% in the national vote, it will go to the National Assembly with 19 less seats.

ANC leaders addressing the media at the IEC Results Operations Centre on 11 May 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) has battled to maintain support in the country’s economic hubs barely holding on to Gauteng, suffering a 10%-point decline in KwaZulu-Natal and again losing to the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape.

The party has for the first time declined to below 60% in the national vote, it will go to the National Assembly with 19 fewer seats.

The decline has replicated across the country’s nine provinces.

During former president Jacob Zuma’s era, the ANC’s support in Kwa-Zulu-Natal grew by 5% from the 2009 to 2014 elections.

It also became the party’s biggest province in terms of party members. Now that support has dwindled to 54%.

With the ANC’s decline and the National Freedom Party almost wiped out in the province, it is the IFP that has bounced back. It has increased support by 10%.

While the ANC has faced a decline all round, its support continues to come from the more rural and poorer provinces, including Limpopo and Eastern Cape.

Analysts have warned it might be following the fate of many liberation parties on the continent that tend to rely on support from rural areas.

WATCH: From IEC results centre: We talk voter fraud allegations & look at the numbers

EFF’S SUPPORT GROWS

With the battle for seats officially over, some of the political parties could then celebrate their successes and prepare their members in Parliament.

The Independent Electoral Commission announced the results of the 2019 general elections on Saturday, and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) made their circles bigger.

Even though the ANC was declared the ruling party for the next five years, the EFF gained 19 seats – the exact number of seats lost by the ANC – and the FF Plus gained six seats. In 2014, the EFF had 25 seats and the FF Plus had four.

On Friday, FF Plus spokesperson Wouter Wessels said the party worked hard to increase their numbers.

“It was a long term plan. It started in 2013 when we repositioned and rebranded ourselves, we did show growth in 2014 but not significant enough to increase our seats. Then in 2016, we showed significant growth with the number of councillors we gained and since 2016, our councillors worked very hard to help with service delivery problems.”

The biggest winner of the two, however, was the EFF after it became the official opposition party in three provinces; the North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

The National Assembly would be made up of the following:

The Pan Africanist Congress with 1 seat,

Al Jama-ah with 1 seat,

The United Democratic Movement with 2 seats,

The National Freedom Party with 2 seats,

The Good Party with 2 seats,

The Congress of the People with 2 seats,

The African Transformation Movement with 2 seats,

The African Independent Congress with 2 seats,

The African Christian Democratic Party with 4 seats,

The Vryheidsfront Plus with 10 seats,

The Inkatha Freedom Party with 14 seats,

The Economic Freedom Fighters with 44 seats,

The Democratic Alliance with 84 seats,

The African National Congress with 230 seats.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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