Ruling party top brass ‘did no work there’
THE ANC lost ground in Buffalo City’s Ward 4 by-elections, taking just 246 votes in more than 3 600, despite the area being home to many ANC officials.
The DA’s Marion Mackley received 3 333, or 93.12% of the votes, and the ANC’s Kevin Nel 246 (6.87%). In 2011 the DA won 88.57% and the ANC 9.31%, when close to 6 000 voters turned up.
Ward 4, which incorporates Bonnie Doon and parts of Beacon Bay, Nahoon, Vincent Gardens and Vincent Heights, is where ANC provincial chairman Phumulo Masualle, Premier Noxolo Kiviet and provincial director-general Mbulelo Sogoni live, as do ANC legislature candidate and Cecilia Makiwane CEO Dr Mthandeki Xhamlashe, Vuyo Zitumane, chair of Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency.
ANC provincial election head Mlibo Qoboshiyane said he was happy with the outcome. “The ANC is represented in every ward in the country,” he said.
The by-election is the result of DA ward councillor Rowan Thiele’s resignation in January, due to his move to Johannesburg. The DA also retained Ward 1 in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro with 85.7%.
The ANC retained Ward 56 in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro where Unathi Menemene clinched 81%, with COPE at 14% and the UDM 3%.
In Beacon Bay thousands came out, even braving a heavy storm, to cast their votes.
Hours before voting closed and a while after, Qoboshiyane hit the social media circuit congratulating ANC members for coming out in their numbers.
“The ward  is a traditional DA stronghold. Yesterday’s results are an indication that no ward will be uncontested. We are going to intensify our campaign in all DA stronghold areas.”
DA’s deputy provincial leader Bobby Stevenson said: “This is a resounding endorsement of DA values. The DA is showing strong growth throughout the province and is on track to show massive gains on May 7.”
The results come just two months after a January by-election in Ward 3, which covers Southernwood, Milner Estate and Braelynn.
The DA saw its support rise from 54% in 2011 to 82%, while the ANC’s dropped from 38% to 17.6%. The Ward 4 defeat is despite ANC big guns economic development MEC Mcebisi Jonas, education MEC Mandla Makupula and Qoboshiyane campaigning for Nel at a breakfast meeting last week.
Political analyst Zamikhaya Maseti said yesterday’s outcome shows the DA is consolidating its support in its stronghold areas.
“This also shows … senior [ANC] politicians and officials … are doing no political work in the ward.”
Professor Steven Friedman said the results were not new, and Kiviet and Masualle held no sway in traditional DA strongholds. —