Another by-elections setback for ANC in KZN after losing in two crucial wards

The ANC suffered at the polls on Wednesday. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

The ANC suffered at the polls on Wednesday. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 16, 2023


Durban - The ANC’s bid to reclaim two wards during Wednesday’s by-elections in KwaZulu-Natal yielded no positive results when it lost to the IFP and Team Sugar South Africa (TSSA) of Musa Shukela Thwala.

The ANC lost both the Newcastle and Mtubatuba by-elections.

In Newcastle, it lost to TSSA, which got 1203 votes, while the governing party got 801 - dashing its hopes of immediately reclaiming the municipality it lost in November 2021.

In Mtubatuba in northern KwaZulu-Natal, the IFP tightened its grip on the rural municipality by winning the by-elections with 704 votes against ANC's 562 votes.

— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) February 16, 2023

The Mtubatuba victory secures the IFP hold on the municipality as the DA is still on its side while the EFF has left the coalition.

The ward was previously held by the ANC, but it became vacant when one of its councillors resigned to take full-time employment in the same municipality.

Commenting about his party’s victory in Mtubatuba, Thambi Ntuli, the chairperson of the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal, said they are humbled.

“The IFP is humbled by the support that has been shown by the people of Mtubatuba.

“Just last month, the people of ward 9 in Mtubatuba pledged their trust and loyalty to the IFP as they voted for the IFP in large numbers.

“Taking control of the two ANC previously controlled wards in one municipality within a space of two months is a clear indication that the people of this province no longer have faith in the ANC.

“The strength of the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal to forge ahead with victory is the legacy of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

“The people of Mtubatuba were categorical in their reasons to believe that IFP remains a better choice to govern with integrity and deliver the government who can fix problems of this province.

“The IFP wins this highly contested ward 4 by-elections amidst many failed attempts by the ANC of trying to convince the people of Mtubatuba to vote for them,” Ntuli said in a statement.

Almost a week before Newcastle’s by-elections, TSSA and the IFP struck a deal that the latter should step back in order to avoid splitting voters and possibly allowing the ANC to reclaim the ward it lost to TSSA during the November 2021 local government elections.

The plan appeared to have worked as the ANC’s intensive push after that announcement yielded no positive results.

The victory in Newcastle means that even if the ANC teams up with the EFF and the NFP, they won’t able to topple the IFP-led coalition, which includes TSSA, the DA, ActionSA and other smaller parties.

The ANC is yet to issue a statement about the dampening by-election results.

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