Is the African National Congress (ANC) building up momentum as the National Elections on May 8 draw closer?
This comes after the political party took two wards from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) during the recent by-elections, thereby gaining wards in both Endumeni (Dundee) and uMhlabuyalingana in Northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Taking the win in Endumeni ensures the ANC has control of the council. This might be seen as good tidings for ANC supporters, as the ANC has taken three NKZN wards from the IFP since December 2018.
However, there were four other KZN by-elections in KZN, with the IFP and EFF making significant gains. The DA has a rather convincing hold in Nelson Mandela Bay and the ANC held its ground in a Limpopo by-election.
The recent by-election in eNdumeni sees the following figures:
ANC – 57%
IFP – 43%
EFF – 4%
NFP – 1%
The by-election took place in Sithembile, a township next to the town of Glencoe, a few kilometres from the principal town of Dundee.
As the ANC takes control of the municipality, which has been in chaos since the former IFP mayor was arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, it seems a certain degree of stability will now set into the council.
In Ward 22, Madadeni, the ANC still has a strong hold over the votes, with 65% in their favour. However, the EFF is showing a significant increase in support with their votes recently going from 13% to 26%.
The next round of by-elections will take place on March 27, when the ANC will defend 15 wards in Maluti, Phofung in the Free State, and the IFP will defend two key by-elections in Northern KwaZulu-Natal.
As the national elections draw closer, the by-elections will surely show political parties where they need to shift their focus.