VIDEO: Duarte disappointed with low voter turnout but comfortable with results coming in
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Tshwane - While the ANC has maintained overall majority support nationally, their performance still paints a bleak picture for the leading party as they dabble below the 50% marker.
By 4pm on Tuesday, 36% of the votes had been counted, with the ANC in the lead at 47% support.
Speaking at the Electoral Commission’s (IEC) National Results Operation Centre (ROC), the ANC’s deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the low voter turnout on Monday was disappointing.
She said the lack of youth perspective at the polls was especially disappointing.
“If we go from one province to the other, I think we have done quite well in Limpopo. We mainly, throughout the country, kept the wards where we had before. We have gained some wards in Johannesburg so we are a bit better than we were in 2016,” Duarte said.
The ANC has been the leading party in Limpopo with 66,71% followed by the EFF with 13,06% of the votes.
Duarte said that in Tshwane, they gained four additional wards from the DA, while in Rustenburg, they took wards from the EFF.
“So in terms of our numbers, we did well. What the issue really is, is the turnout.
“The low turnout is disappointing, especially the lack of the youth perspective in the elections which we thought would be much higher,” she said, adding that the implementation of load shedding had impacted the election and voters.
“I mean, we can make a number of different reasons but that has been the primary reason why people probably stayed away from the polls.
“Our own research prepared us for a lower poll,” she said.
She added that door-to-door visits had given the party a “good edge” in consolidating their knowledge of what was really happening on the ground.
“One of the things that we saw in many of the areas we visited was that the levels of poverty are deeper,” she said. Duarte said that she witnessed people who were so appreciative of the R350 grant.
“If you are that appreciative of R350 then that must give you an indication of how poor you are. So for the ANC, we can build from this. We can build upwards and we will do a much better job,” Duarte said.
She added that after monitoring the numbers coming through, the party was comfortable with where they were at the moment.
She said the key finding was the lack of proper service delivery in many of the areas.
“I think the voters have told us, as the ANC, we voted for you, so fix things. And that's our commitment,” she said.