DA pins lofty hopes on outright win in George, loses footing in Saldanha Bay

Opposition party agents who observed onsite vote counting said the George council would likely be hung and governed by a coalition.

Residents queue to cast their votes in the local government elections in Thembalethu, George on 1 November 2021. Picture: Kevin Brandt/Eyewitness News

GEORGE - The Democratic Alliance (DA) is still hoping for an outright win in the George Municipality in the Western Cape despite opposition party predictions that it would lose its governing majority.

READ: 12.2 million South Africans voted in local govt elections - IEC

Opposition party agents who observed onsite vote counting earlier told Eyewitness News that the George council would likely be hung and governed by a coalition.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is finalising counting and results from the area.

The DA’s political head for George, Mimmy Gondwe, said it was early days in the world of vote counting and remained confident that the party would remain in control of the George Municipality.

“I’m very positive on how things are progressing, we trust that the people of George will give us a strong mandate to make sure that we do more in the municipality. We are all awaiting the IEC to verify and confirm the result so that’s as much as I can say for now.”

But both the ANC and the Good party told Eyewitness News their calculations suggested the DA wouldn’t garner enough votes to govern on its own.

READ: George headed for coalition govt, says ANC

ANC regional executive committee member, Piet van der Hoven, said this opened the way for a possible change in government.

“I predict, I’m not saying it is going to happen. I’m not the one who is negotiating with any other party, but I am fairly sure that the ANC and Good and some of the other opposition parties may get together and rule George.”

An inaugural meeting for the town’s new council members has been scheduled for next week Friday.

THE WESTERN CAPE'S HUNG MUNICIPALITIES

The DA has lost majority control of the Saldanha Bay Municipality.

The West Coast council emerged as one of 12 hung municipalities in the Western Cape.

The DA won 13 seats, the ANC six and the Good party four with the Patriotic Alliance, the Cape Coloured Congress, the Freedom Front Plus and the Economic Freedom Fighters each winning one seat.

Other hung councils include Knysna, Theewaterskloof, Witzenberg, Oudtshoorn, Kannaland, Cederberg, Laingsburg, Prince Albert and Langeberg.

Provincial leader Albert Fritz said there would be no coalition talks until all the results were in. He said, “we want to get all the results. Some of our major municipalities are not declared yet – Cape Town is not declared, Mossel Bay, Drakenstein, Stellenbosch is not declared – those are our big, big municipalities. Our smaller municipalities we’ve seen in which direction they’ll go, and voters decide who they want to govern and we must abide by and respect that.”

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