Cape Town - The DA has held on to the five municipal wards in which by-elections were contested in the province this week.
It won by large margins.
The ANC says the five wards have become DA strongholds, but it will work to regain the confidence of voters.
In Ward 13 in Mossel Bay – an election that took place against a backdrop of violent protests about electricity disconnections – the DA gained 50.07 percent of the vote and the ANC 17.60 percent.
Newly elected councillor Rosina Ruiters said her prioritywould be to make residents aware of their social rights.
“I want to help people, but this issue will take some time to resolve. While canvassing, I realised how little people know about what opportunities are available to them. I was amazed that people did not know about the water and sanitation subsidies, and pension subsidies available.”
In Cape Town’s Ward 56, which includes Kensington, the DA received 87.85 percent of the votes, the ANC 7.34 percent and the PAC 2.13 percent. Voter turnout was 24.12 percent.
In Ward 54, which includes Sea Point and Robben Island, the DA received 97.24 percent and the ANC 2.76 percent in a 29.62 percent poll. In Ward 5, which includes Bothasig, the DA received 99.65 percent and the ANC 0.35 percent in a 42.39 percent poll. The DA received 91.22 percent of the votes in Malmesbury’s Ward 10 and the ANC 8.78 percent.
ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said the party would be a strong presence in the wards long after these elections.
“We will be there to listen to people’s grievances and see how we can rectify their issues.
“Since the 2011 by-elections, the wards have shown that they are DA strongholds. Our plan is to reintroduce the ANC, make people feel they can trust us once again.”
DA leader Helen Zille said the victories were a sign the party was on track for the next municipal elections in 2016.
“The Democratic Alliance swept to victory in 17 of the 19 by-elections we contested countrywide yesterday, winning many battleground wards in major towns and cities.
“The DA won battleground Ward 32 in Johannesburg, increasing our marginal 2014 majority of 51 percent to 56 percent. This 5 percent swing is significant because if the trend continues metro-wide, the ANC will be brought under 50 percent in 2016.”