Independents take 10 seats from the ANC in the Free State by-election

It is beginning to become obvious that South African people have had enough of the ruling partys non-performance as 10 of the 15 African National Congress (ANC) councillors in the Free State’s Maluti-a-Phofung municipality were given the boot on Wednesday after a tough by-election.

Maluti-a-Phofung is located in the eastern part of the Free State Province and consists of towns such as Harrismith, Phuthaditjhaba, Kestell, Witsieshoek and QwaQwa rural areas.

ANC and DA campaigning

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule spent many hours of vigorous campaigning in the area and despite retaining control, they lost the support in 10 wards.

The independents are all former ANC councillors who were ousted from the ANC.

The Democratic Alliance who also conducted heavy campaigning in the area did not win any wards.

The turnout

There was only around a 50% turnout in all wards.

Former ANC councillor, Gilbert Mokotso contested as an independent in ward 31 and won with 54% of votes cast.

The new council

The council composes of ANC 37 (previously 47), Independents 10, EFF 9, DA 5, DPSA 4, AULA 2, APC 1 and AIC 1.

Previously this was an ANC stronghold and while the party retains control of Maluti-a-Phofung with a buffer of 3 seats, they are losing grip.

The contest for the 15 wards included 89 candidates from six political parties as well as 16 independent candidates.

The ANC were only able to retain wards one, eight, 15, 16 and 18.

The ANC lost a ward in Umvoti in KwaZulu-Natal in last weeks by-elections to the National Freedom Party (NFP).

The next by-elections will be on 18th September 2019.