The ANC's provincial elections head Ebrahim Rasool (left) congratulating premier-elect Alan Winde on winning the Western Cape in the 2019 elections. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
The ANC's provincial elections head Ebrahim Rasool (left) congratulating premier-elect Alan Winde on winning the Western Cape in the 2019 elections. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Western Cape results ignite smaller parties' hopes ahead of 2021 local elections

By Chelsea Geach Time of article published May 11, 2019

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Cape Town - The DA may have retained power in the Western Cape, but many communities have changed their vote since 2014 and smaller parties have made inroads, with Good claiming a voting district victory and EFF doubling its votes.

The gains for these small parties has buoyed their hopes for better results when in the local government elections in 2021.

The EFF may not have outright won any voting district, but it did show significant growth. EFF election co-ordinator for the Western Cape Melikaya Xego said the party was pleased with its progress as it jumped from 2.11% in 2014 to over 4%.

“We have actually doubled our votes,” Xego said. “We’ve gained votes right through all the regions. We are happy with the progress and ready for the next local government elections.”

Xego said the past year of campaigning paid off.

“We were busy right through the previous year campaigning, going to clinics and hospitals, highlighting the issues in the communities everywhere,” he said. “We’ve worked very hard, and that translated for us in votes.”

Western Cape premier-elect Alan Winde comments on the DA's victory. Video: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Xego said a positive surprise for the party was the votes that came from predominantly white areas. Voting districts that delivered zero EFF votes in the 2016 municipal elections now saw handfuls of votes coming in.

“I won’t say that there are a lot of whites who have voted for us, but there’s an increase,” Xego said.

An area of stronghold was in the Cape Town metro, where EFF votes climbed from 35000 in 2014 to 65000 this year.

Among the many new parties contesting this election, Patricia de Lille’s Good was the only one to garner serious support in the province, outright winning one large voting district in Beaufort West. Secretary-general Brett Herron thanked South Africans for supporting the new kid on the block with a total of 3% of votes.

“This election had a lot of new parties contesting. Many of them had a head start on us,” he said. “It appears that Good was the only new party able to break through and secure enough votes for representatives in the National Assembly and provincial legislature.”

Good is already looking forward towards municipal elections.

“We have secured a good base upon which we can build for the 2021 local government elections,” Herron said.

GOOD party leader Patricia de Lille comments on her party's performance in the elections. Video: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

The Freedom Front Plus also saw a jump in support in the Western Cape, from 0.55% to 1.57%.

National elections co-ordinator for the Freedom Front Plus Wouter Wessels said it was a milestone for the party to return to provincial legislature for the first time since they gained a seat in the 1994 elections.

“It is significant that we gained a seat in legislature in such a highly contested province,” he said. Wessels said the province was a particularly difficult area in which to campaign.

“There was a lot of fear politics, that the ANC or EFF could win the Western Cape. It instilled a fear in voters not to try a new alternative,” he said.

“We are very grateful to the voters of the Western Cape who came out and made the brave choice to support their first choice: the Freedom Front.

“We believe this is a building block for 2021, and that is a foundation for 2024 (national elections).”

Weekend Argus

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