Picture: Itumeleng English/ANA

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) retained wards in this week's by-elections in North West, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga.

Five by-elections were held in the three provinces on Wednesday.

''At ward 18 at Buffalo City Municipality [Eastern Cape], the DA retained the seat it won in the 2016 municipal elections with an increased margin of 95.92% of the votes cast compared to 88.08% in the municipal elections. Voter turnout yesterday [Tuesday] was 38.38%,'' the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said on Thursday.

The Congress of the People (Cope) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) also fielded candidates to contest the metro polls. The position became vacant after the resignation of a DA councillor.   

In the second by-election in Buffalo City, the ANC retained ward 21 with an increased margin of 89.98% of the votes cast compared to 76.36% it received in the municipal elections. Voter turnout was 28.98%. The previous ward 21 councillor died.

At Ngquza Hill Municipality's ward 9, the African People’s Convention (APC), DA, ANC and the EFF contested the by-election but the ANC retained the ward. A seat on the council became vacant after an ANC councillor died.  

The ANC in the Eastern Cape said it did everything to try win ward 18 from the DA.

''The ANC appreciates the support it received in a number of wards it retained. Even though we have won outright in two wards, ward 21 in Mdantsane, Buffalo City and ward 9 at Ngquza Hill at OR Tambo region, we are disappointed that we could not clinch Ward 18 in Buffalo City from the opposition,'' the party said in a statement on Thursday.

''We knew very well that the ward is a DA strong-hold, but we are delighted with the fortitude and progress we have will built towards the 2019 national elections and 2021 local government elections.''
 
In Mpumalanga, Dr JS Moroka Municipality's ward 7 was retained by the governing party, although with a reduced margin of 41.06% of the votes cast compared to 70.17% in the municipal elections. 

The EFF, Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) and Sindawonye Progressive Party (SPP) also contested in the by-election.

The North West by-election for ward 4 in Ganyesa was retained by the ANC  with a reduced margin of 49.08 percent compared to 72.66% percent of the votes the received in 2016.

African News Agency/ANA