The DA received another bloodied nose from the electorate on Wednesday, continuing the trend of losing support to the ANC and the Freedom Front Plus.

By-elections took place in all nine provinces on Wednesday amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The by-elections were a test for all political parties. In the DA’s case, it was the first electoral test after the party’s policy conference, in which it rejected race as a way to categorise people, and comes less than two weeks after it elected new leaders.

While SA’s second largest party did grow in some DA strongholds, the overall picture is a gloomy one for the party which lost nine wards and only succeeded in taking one from the ANC.  

In Johannesburg, the DA previously held three marginal wards in areas including Lenasia, Lenasia South and Riverlea. But on Wednesday it lost those wards to respectively the ANC, the Patriotic Alliance and Al Jama-ah. Every ward in Johannesburg is critical, as no political party holds a majority.

Wednesday’s elections brings the ANC to 123 seats in the Johannesburg council, up from 121 in 2016.

After the by-elections wins, the ANC-led coalition government has a majority of 136 seats in council, ANC regional spokesperson Sasabona Manganye said.

The DA lost two wards in the Northern Cape to the ANC in the Phokwane and Renosterberg municipalities.

The DA lost a ward, which it held with a strong majority, in the JB Marks Municipality in Potchefstroom, to the FF Plus.

It lost a ward to the ANC in Madibeng in North West, another to the ANC in Emfuleni in Gauteng, and one to Patricia De Lille’s Good party in George in the Western Cape.



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