2016 Elections: Voter turnout at 58%

South Africa’s 2016 Municipal Elections, in which over 200 parties participated were free and fair, the Electoral Commission (IEC) Chairperson Glen Mashinini declared as he announced the final results on Saturday.

“It is my privilege to declare the 2016 Local Government Elections free and fair,” he told a packed national Results Operations Centre, in Pretoria.

Releasing the results in what would be regarded as the country’s most fiercely contested municipal elections since the first democratic local government elections, Mashinini said the results were a testament to the will of the electorate.

“We have sent a message to our own people and the world that we are a maturing democracy,” he said.

Prior to releasing the results, the IEC conceded that results of the City of Johannesburg metro had still not been finalised by the time of the announcement.

Party performance in the metros

He confirmed the final allocation of seats in major councils as follows:

  • In Buffalo City, in the Eastern Cape, the ANC garnered 60 seats followed by the DA with 24 seats. The EFF received 8 seats.
  • In the Nelson Mandela Bay metro, the DA leads with 57 seats with the ruling party receiving 50 seats.
  • In the Free State’s Mangaung metro, the ANC is commanding in that council with 58 seats followed by the DA with 27 seats and the EFF with 9 seats.

Ekurhuleni

The ANC managed to wrestle control of Ekurhuleni in Gauteng with 109 seats while the DA trailed with 77 seats followed by the EFF with 25 seats.

City of Tshwane

With counting in the City of Tshwane having been completed earlier today, the DA wrestled control of the metro from the ruling party, garnering 93 seats, while the ANC garnered 89 seats and the new kids on the block, the EFF obtained 25 seats.

City of Johannesburg

Preliminary results for the City of Johannesburg as announced by Mashinini showed that the ANC was still leading with 43.38% of the vote, followed closely by the DA with 39.66% of the votes, while the EFF trailed behind with 10.96% of the votes.

KwaZulu-Natal

The Ethekwini metro in KwaZulu-Natal remains the stronghold of the ANC with the final seat calculation placing the party firmly on top with a comfortable 126 seats to the DA’s 61 seats. The IFP received 10 seats in that council.

City of Cape Town

In the City of Cape Town, the DA maintained control by receiving a whopping 154 seats taking it to a two-thirds majority. The ANC will be the official opposition having received 57 seats, while the EFF received seven seats.

Mashinini said with the elections now completed, it is now up to the more than 9000 councillors elected to carry forward the will of the people.

Targets met

Speaking earlier, the Commission’s Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya said that among the commission’s targets was to register over 1.1 million new voters, a target that was surpassed to over 1.3 million new voters.

Voter turnout in these elections improved slightly from 57.6% in 2011 to at least 58%.

Commenting on a survey conducted on voters’ perception of the IEC, Moepya said preliminary findings of the report showed that 96% of voters thought the process to vote was free and fair, while 96% of voters said the process to vote did not take longer than 16 minutes.

The people of SA have spoken

Moepya commended the people of South Africa for participating in the elections.

“We are here because the people of South Africa will not be denied their democracy,” he said.

In addition, the commission admitted that the elections were not free of challenges.

Vice Chairperson Terry Tselane said the commission received close to 100 objections related to the elections that they had to deal with.

More on the elections

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This is how coalitions work in South Africa

How will the ANC respond to the prospect of losing its dominance?

The ANC remains dominant despite shifts in support base

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2016 Elections: Voter turnout at 58%