Elections 2019 posters. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)
Elections 2019 posters. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

2014 vs 2019: This is how Durban’s voting patterns have changed

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published May 16, 2019

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Durban - Elections data shows that the ANC lost 10.53% of the votes in the eThekwini region in KwaZulu-Natal, while the EFF gained 9.07% of the vote in the region.

In raw numbers, the ANC lost 180 000 votes, while the EFF gained about 120 000 votes. The DA lost 250 votes, while the Freedom Front Plus doubled its votes in eThekwini from 1 500 to just over 2 900 votes.  

These figures are taken from comparable the Electoral Commission of South Africa's (IEC) data from the 2014 and 2019 general and provincial elections.

Fewer people voted in the recent elections compared to the 2014 when 1.4 million people cast their votes in eThekwini, compared to 1.37 million people in the recent polls.

The ANC declined dramatically, losing 180 498 votes, while the DA lost 251 votes, while the EFF grew rapidly by 120 850 votes and the IFP grew by 22 020 votes.

2019 provincial results

2014 provincial results


728 613



307 827



155 187



74 429


The Minority Front had the fifth most votes in eThekwini, with 15 090 votes in this election. In 2014, the party had more than 33 000 votes in the region.


The ANC lost more than 520 000 votes in KwaZulu-Natal in the recent polls. A closer look at the election data shows that 180 498 votes were lost in the eThekwini region alone - the region also happens to be the biggest in the province.

In the 2014 elections, the ANC in the eThekwini region received just over 900 000 votes, which translated to 64.59% of the votes. In the recent polls, the governing party could only muster just over 728 000 votes, or 54.06% of the vote in eThekwini.

ANC provincial leaders have cited the devastating floods that ripped through the city, the strike led by eThekwini municipality before the elections and low voter turnout as some of the reasons for their poor election showing.

Currently, eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede, who is also the chairperson of the ANC in the eThekwini region, is under massive pressure after being arrested on graft charges earlier this week. There is pressure on Gumede to resign from her position from inside and outside the party.


The DA appears to have hit the ceiling on its growth path in eThekwini. The party received 307 827 votes in eThekwini in the recent elections. This accounts for more than half of the parties 500 000 votes received in KZN.

The worry for the DA’s KZN leader Zwakele Mncwango and his team, will be the negative growth. In 2014, the party received 308 078, five years on, they lost 251 votes along the way.

Mncwango has been encouraged by the growth of the party in rural KZN, amassing more than 200 000 votes in the recent elections, but as the party aims to snatch eThekwini out of the clutches of the ANC in 2021, it will know there is a lot of work to be done.  


The Economic Freedom Fighters were the undoubted surprise package in KZN, amassing eight seats in the provincial legislature - six more than they managed in 2014. The EFF received the bulk of its support in the eThekwini region with 155 187 of its 349 361 votes coming from the area. In 2014, the EFF had only managed just 34 337 votes in eThekwini. As they did in the province, the party managed near five fold growth in the region.

On Thursday, leader Julius Malema said the party’s strides in KZN were due to the work that had been done on the ground. He said the party dissolved its provincial leadership after performing poorly in 2016 and re-strategized.

“There is nothing that happens through a miracle,” said Malema. “The organisation must grow, if people are not adding value, they must be told. Otherwise we are going to experience what the ANC is experiencing. There must be consequence management. We are not going to sit with deadwood, we are going to replace them and we make no apologies about it,” he said.


The IFP was another surprise package in the 2019 elections, becoming the official opposition in the KZN province, with 588 000 votes.

In eThekwini, they grew by 22 000 votes. But the party will want to make greater strides in the region ahead of the local government elections in 2021.

Sunday Tribune

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