Cape Town - The premier designate of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, says now that the elections are over, the real work begins to take the province to the next level.
He briefly outlined his plans on the way forward to Weekend Argus, following the announcement of the provisional 2019 provincial election results at the Electoral Commission of SA results centre in Century City on Friday afternoon.
Winde says top of his list are jobs, housing and transport.
He was basking in the glow of a provisional win for the DA. Although the verified and declared results would only be made available on Wednesday, the provisional figures show the province will remain in the hands of the DA, with the ANC second and the EFF in third place. “The voters have once again put their trust in the blue team and I want to thank every one of them,” said Winde in his victory speech.
“If you listened to analysts and pundits late last year, they all said we would achieve less than 50%, but the team went all out and worked really hard,” he said.The DA won 55% of the vote in the province, a drop of just over 4% from its 2014 achievement.
But IEC provincial commissioner Courtney Sampson, was quick to add that this year’s voter’s roll in the provincial election was bigger than that in 2014 and this may yet change figures for many parties in terms of performance.
“Democratically, 55% is a good result for a government. The campaign took me to every corner of this province. I have seen first-hand where the challenges are. The DA has a good track record and we will continue to build on that,” Winde said.
The EFF’s Melikhaya Xego said the party was happy with the outcome but said the bad weather on election day may have affected voter turnout.
“We will show strength in the opposition benches. We will give the DA a run for their money as a governing party in the Western Cape,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ANC, despite suffering a defeat at the polls, was quick to point out the loss suffered by the DA.
Former Western Cape premier and ANC election head Ebrahim Rasool said the loss by the DA is an indication that the “people of the Western Cape are fed up with the DA”.
“We congratulate the DA on its win. But we put Alan Winde on notice that we will be watching them closely to ensure they govern the province in the interest of all of our communities instead of for a few. It will not be business as usual for the DA,” said the secretary general of the ANC in the Western Cape, Faiez Jacobs.
Good’s Brett Herron said: “We only had four months to prepare and now we have representation in the provincial legislature and the national assembly. This is a great start for us and we can build a movement that can contest future elections much more robustly.”
He said spatial justice was a key focus of the Good party.
The party’s leader Patricia de Lille is in Pretoria for the national results announcement later today.
Sampson said while there were still a few municipalities that needed to be finalised, they would have little bearing on the figures as they stood.
The IEC came under fire this week after reports circulated that it had run out of ballot papers, but this was vehemently denied by Sampson.
“The delays were caused because the ballot papers are accompanied by police escort. We had enough ballot papers for another election,” said Sampson.
He confirmed that an independent audit is under way to look into claims by some parties that some voters crooked the system and were able to cast their ballots multiple times. The CSIR has been roped in to look into the quality of the ink used by the IEC after complaints that voters were able to remove the mark on their thumbnail easily.
The elections were declared free and fair by the Electoral Code of Conduct Observers Commission and the More Than Peace Organisation.
All eyes will be on Pretoria on Saturday as the nation awaits the national results.