Pretoria - Tshwane could be in for more political drama in the next local government polls in 2021, if voting patterns of last Wednesday's general elections are anything to go by.
In terms of the statistics obtained from the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) following the May 8 general elections, the metro could return to the ANC if voters cast their ballot the way they did last week.
The statistics show that support for the ruling DA in the City of Tshwane has dramatically decreased.
During the 2016 local government elections, the DA got more votes than any other party in Tshwane at 43.16%.
Subsequently, the party was able to form a coalition government with other smaller parties - supported by the EFF - first led by Solly Msimanga as mayor and recently Stevens Mokgalapa.
However, statistics now show that during last week's general elections, the DA garnered just 29.56% from Tshwane voters. With just over a million votes by people in Tshwane who cast their ballots for their preferred party to lead the provincial government, the DA bagged 314500 or 29.56%. The ANC meanwhile got 489791 votes, which translated to 46.03%.
The EFF on the other hand was third with 15.19% or 161576 votes, according to the IEC statistics.
After the general elections in 2014, voting patterns had indicated that the DA had overtaken the then ruling ANC in Tshwane, based on the IEC statistics.
At the time, the ANC, under mayor Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa, was warned about the possibility of losing the metro to the DA in the local government elections of 2016.
After shifting to opposition benches in council, the ANC said it lost the metro because most of its voters stayed away from the polls.
In the build-up to the 2016 polls, the party had been marred by controversy regarding the choice of mayoral candidate.
It had eventually settling for MP Thoko Didiza, while the branches preferred Mapiti Matsena, who was deputy regional chairperson at the time.
Yesterday, ANC regional chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa said the statistics meant that people had regained confidence in his party's recovery plan.
“It means that if we were having the local government election the ANC would have got 60%”.
In 2016 the ANC won 68 of 107 wards in Tshwane. Maepa said it was telling that the ANC also won the five DA-governed wards in last week’s polls.
“This is in Ward 92, which is Arcadia, Ward 59 in Groenkloof and Sunnyside, Ward 4 Pretoria North, Ward 48 Zwartkops and Mooiplaats and Ward 99 Cullinan. That means people believe in our recovery plan,” he said.
DA regional leader Abel Tau said he had not yet thoroughly analysed the results for Tshwane, but the party's poor showing could be attributed to “people who voted against what they were afraid of”.
“We didn't do well. We dropped seats in the province and nationally.”
Tau, however, said the party showed improvement in townships such as Soshanguve, Hammanskraal and Winterveldt.