030214. Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Rosebank. Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille during the news conferences following Sunday’s announcement that the alliance between Mamphela Ramphele and the DA had fallen through. 346 Picture: Dumisani Sibeko


Johannesburg -

The Democratic Alliance is gaining strong support from the people of the Eastern Cape, party leader Helen Zille said on Saturday.

“Between 2006 and 2014, the African National Congress' support in Nelson Mandela Bay dropped from 67 percent to 49 percent. During the same period, support for the DA climbed from 25 percent to 40 percent,” Zille said in a speech prepared for delivery at the party's provincial congress in Jeffrey's Bay.

She believed five municipalities would be heavily contested in the 2016 local government elections.

“Our performance here in Kouga in the national and provincial election where we brought the ANC under 50 percent shows that the municipality is ready to return to the DA.”

The DA governs the Baviaans local municipality. In 2000, the Kouga municipality was run by the DA, but was lost to the ANC in 2007.

On Friday, Veliswa Mvenya was appointed as the party's new provincial chairwoman, along with three deputies; Retief Odendaal, Rory Gailey and Lodewyk Gallant.

The new deputy provincial leaders were Bobby Stevenson and Terrence Fritz. - Sapa