The latest figures pertaining to Limpopo’s local government election results reflect an estimated 70% of votes in favour of the ruling party.
Coming closest to that is the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with an approximate 17% of votes. The Democratic Alliance (DA) stood at about 10% of the votes in the province at around 12:30 today.
By then the African National Congress (ANC) had 105 wards and 9 PR councillors’ positions in their favour, the DA 12 wards and 6 PR councillors’ positions and the EFF had not claimed any wards by then but 13 PR councillors’ positions.
The results were on display at the Results Operations Centre (ROC) at Peter Mokaba Stadium, which is currently a hive of activity. Chris Ramafalo, Spokesperson for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in Limpopo said that everything was under control and at noon 48,5% of the votes were counted. “There were manageable challenges but we addressed them adequately,” Ramafalo said.
In the meantime it was learnt from political party representatives that several disputes pertaining to various issues at voting stations were lodged with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
EFF Provincial Elections Coordinator and Provincial Deputy Secretary George Raphela mentioned a separate criminal case opened in Thohoyandou yesterday after an incident at the University of Venda (Univen). He pleaded for political tolerance.
With reference to around 14 disputes lodged by the EFF in different regions, he said a dispute lodged in terms of counting and capturing of votes in Ward 5 in Thabazimbi could tilt the balance in their favour which could result in the forming of a coalition.
He indicated that they were positive and happy about the results and he thanked their members for their support.
By early morning DA Provincial Leader Jacques Smalle referred to the party having claimed a possible nine wards across the province formerly belonging to the ANC. He simultaneously indicated that they have retained former DA strongholds in Polokwane, which entailed wards 21, 22, 23 and 39. Looking at votes he predicted a low percentage in turn-out, which by then seemed much lower than in 2011 and 2014. At Vuwani where a tenth of the around 40 000 registered voters apparently showed up to cast their votes yesterday, he attributed it to safety issues as well as a breach of trust between voters, political parties and party officials. It took time to build trust and due to the fact that the ruling party had built a bad name as a political organisation, people would judge all political parties by the same criteria, he said.
In an earlier interview Congress of the People (Cope) Provincial Secretary Erick Mohlapamaswi said by then they were doing well. They were not expecting a miracle because the electorate had spoken and it was up to them to go back to thank them for voting for the party, he mentioned. Mohlapamaswi stressed the need for educating people and redirect their thinking in a move away from historic votes necessitated by the current climate.
Johan Willemse, representative of the Vryheidsfront Plus said that the party’s apparent low support from white voters in Polokwane was the result of the inclusion of parts of Aganang Municipality into former Polokwane wards.
Mininster Faith Muthambi for the ANC said that she was very excited about the democracy in action she had witnessed and alluded to the fact that 56 political parties have registered to participate in the elections. “This is a healthy competition and we are proud of the spirit of cooperation. Working together for different political parties we will make South Africa a better place for all,” Muthambi said.
Featured Photo: Faith Muthambi, Minister of Communications and Des van Rooyen, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs at the Results Operations Centre (ROC) at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium.