SA election: smooth process, ANC, DA react

By late afternoon today, almost 89 percent of votes in the local government elections have been captured, but major metros were still outstanding, chief electoral officer Pansy Tlakula.

“As at 2pm on Thursday 51,642 of the 58,158 results slips were already captured. This constitutes 88.8 percent of the results slips expected,” she said at the results operation centre in Pretoria, which was visited by among others the DA's Helen Zille and the ANC's Gwede Mantashe (pictured).

Of the votes counted by late Thursday, 71 percent had been audited and released.

“A number of results in metropolitan councils are however still outstanding.... ,” said Ms Tlakula.

Buffalo City had released 85 percent, Nelson Mandela Bay 99 percent and Ekurhuleni 95 percent.

Johannesburg was on 20 percent, Mangaung 50 percent, Tshwane 56 percent, Ethekwini 22 percent, and the City of Cape Town on 34 percent.

Tlakula said preliminary voter turnout was 56 percent and two percent of ballots were spoilt.

She emphasised, however, that this eight percent increase in voter turnout from the previous election was preliminary, especially as the metro results were not yet in.

“It is too early for us to talk about voter turnout,” she said.

There had been no official objections to the results, although two parties had said they might lodge complaints, she said.

There would be a recount of votes in one of the wards in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.

The Independent Electoral Commission expected to complete capturing and validating results on Friday and declare the results on Saturday.

Meanwhile the ANC Gauteng said it was satisfied with a high voter turn out in all areas of Gauteng and acknowledged that the DA had held onto Midvaal.

The ANC said: ‘We have put a great fight in Midvaal through sustained campaign. It is unfortunate that we could not win. We accept the results in Midvaal; we know that there is a huge disappointment from the working people and the poor of the Midvaal. The ANC is deeply concern that the area remains a racially polarised with lots of blatant racism.

The ANC will not abandon the poor and working people of the Midvaal, we will continue and also pay special attention to their needs and using the district and the provincial government resources we will develop the area. We will work very hard to develop the area.’

While down in the Western Cape, the Democratic Alliance claimed massive municipal election gains in the Western Cape, with provincial leader Theuns Botha saying the party would control 15 of 30 municipalities.

"It is not all official yet, but we will take 15," he said at the IEC results centre in Bellville South.

According to audited results, the DA had won outright control of Drakenstein, taking 35 seats to the ANC's 19, and Breede Valley, where it took 22 seats to the ANC's 14 out of total 41 seats.

It repeated the feat in Saldanha Bay, taking 15 seats to the ANC's eight, as well as in George, where it took 25 seats out of 49.

The party also won clear majorities in Bergriver, Swartland, Overstrand, Langeberg, Threewaterskloof, Mossel Bay and the West Coast district municipality.

The ANC won an outright majority in Beaufort West, with seven out of 13 seats.

In Witzenberg, the DA took 10 seats and the ANC eight out of 23. In Kannaland, the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa won three seats and the ANC and DA two each.

Botha said the results were a vast improvement on the party's performance in 2006 local polls.

Then, it won an outright majority in only two municipalities and eventually controlled five thanks to coalitions with smaller parties.

The DA's gains come on the back of a massive increase in voter turnout ,which the IEC said was above 60 percent in all municipalities.

In Prince Albert, 81 percent of registered voters cast their ballots.

The IEC said that by early afternoon it had captured 60 percent of votes in the Cape Town metro, where the DA is hoping to retain control after a close contest with the ANC.

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