File photo: Phill Magakoe/Independent Media

Johannesburg – The ANC has received a much needed confidence boost after clinching victory in four wards during Wednesday's by-elections.

The ruling party won wards in the Eastern Cape, Free State and Western Cape provinces following weeks of negative publicity related to scandals such as the "war room" debacle.

"These results confirm the people's confidence in the governing party and their movement, the ANC. They are a further testament that no other political party has the proven track record, experience and vision to unite the people of South Africa and move our country forward. We appreciate our people's support and thank them for their continuing trust in the ANC, it said in a statement.

Winning the highly contested Ward 12 in the Metsimaholo Local Municipality, Sasolburg, also saw the ANC which risked losing to Economic Freedom Front (EFF). Had it received enough votes, the EFF planned to work with small parties such as the Metsimaholo Civic Association.

Instead, ANC councillor Lebohang Andries Makhefu's win ensured the ANC retained the seat with 31.34% of the 1 588 votes cast.

Makhefu contested the elections after ANC councillor Nyamezile Khondo tendered his resignation last year citing incompetencies and internal matters in the party.

In the George municipality in the Western Cape, the DA lost ward 11 to the ANC and kept ward 25.

The ruling party meanwhile says it does not take the victory for granted.

"We call on the elected public representatives to work hard to resolve our people’s problems. Ours, like President OR Tambo, is to continue serving our people with humility. We dare not fail. As the 2017 January 8th Statement has directed, we must unite the people of South Africa, unite our movement and ensure that we work together for a better life for all," it said.

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Political Bureau