40% of election results in, ANC bags 44 councils so far

The official opposition, Democratic Alliance will govern in 13 councils.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the crowd at the party's main rally in Thokoza Park, Soweto, on 29 October 2021. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG/ CAPE TOWN - With 40% of the election results in as of Tuesday afternoon, the African National Congress (ANC) is leading nationally with 44 councils in the bag.

The official opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), will govern in 13 councils.

Meanwhile, the National Freedom Party and the lesser-known Independent Civic Organisation founded by Truman Prince have one council each.

These rolling developments come as the country grapples with general discontent, demonstrated through the poor showing at the local government elections.

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The ANC and the DA are nervously focusing on results emerging from the country's metros with all predictions pointing to hung municipalities.

The big parties are desperate to hang on to crucial municipalities, while smaller ones are making inroads, confident they could hold sway in many areas.

The political party section at the national operations results (ROC) is abuzz as different parties focus on the leader board, all predictions are that they will have to set aside the Mudsligging of the campaign period and start Negotating a way forward for the metros.

In Ekurhuleni with 35% of the votes counted, the ANC leads with 37%.

The big battle is Johannesburg, where both the DA and the ANC are hoping to emerge with a leading majority, with none able to go at it alone. Their not-so-favourite political foe Herman Mashaba has pushed out the EFF emerging as a kingmaker, having 17% with 21% of the votes counted so far.

In Tshwane, only 9% has been counted with the DA in the lead.

90% OF VOTES EXPECTED TO BE COUNTED TODAY

On Tuesday evening this picture might have changed as results of 90% of the votes are expected to have been counted.

Meanwhile, a hung council looks even more certain for Nelson Mandela Bay Metro where the ANC and DA have been neck and neck for most of the day.

The ANC has a slight lead, but the DA is expecting more voting districts in its strongholds to be added to the final tally.

This means a coalition government will be in place for another five years in the hotly contested metro.

Officials from the ANC, DA and other smaller parties in Nelson Mandela Bay seem to be prepared for a further coalition with both parties unable to breach 50% of the vote.

But the ANC remains confident despite thousands of outstanding votes in DA strongholds and just 18% of the votes counted by 4 pm.

Provincial treasurer Babalo Madikizela said whatever outstanding votes, there are won’t all go to DA.

“As I’m saying from where I’m seated we’ll get 50+% as things stand, because if you look at the voting districts, our stronghold voting districts where we are confident people came out to vote have not been captured.”

Former ANC mayor Nceba Faku said the party can get 50% + 1% of the vote and elect a mayor from its own ranks.

“The authority of adjusting the list is a preserve of the top leadership. All we want is to win in terms of percentage.”

While the DA has called an early victory in the nearby Kouga municipality in Jeffery’s Bay, a clearer picture will only emerge in in the coming days on whether a coalition government will govern the Metro.

A disruptor in these municipal elections is ActionSA whose leader Herman Mashaba has promised to free Johannesburg from what he calls the abuse of the ANC.

Mashaba is a former mayor in the metro who then left his former party the DA in 2019, complaining about the party's leadership.

ActionSA contested the elections in Gauteng, namely, Johannesburg, Tshwane and eThekwini.

He said his mission has been to unseat the ANC.

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