ELECTION NEWS - The new premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, is expected to be formally elected on 22 May. The Democratic Alliance managed to retain power in the province in the 2019 provincial and national elections on 8 May, albeit with a smaller margin.
Similarly, President Cyril Ramaphosa is facing the challenging task of selecting his national cabinet which, in the run-up to the election, he had promised would be much smaller.
The ANC has also won a smaller national majority (57,50%), and will return to Parliament with 230 of the 400 seats - 19 less than previously.
The DA remains the official opposition in the national parliament with
84 seats, having forfeited five seats. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) return to Parliament with 19 more seats, for a total of 44. The Freedom Front Plus (10 seats, six more than previously), and ACDP (four, one more than previously) have increased their presence in the national parliament. The newcomer, Good, headed by Patricia de Lille, will take up two seats.
Growth, decline and voter apathy
The EFF and FF Plus are the only two major national parties that grew in all nine provinces as well as nationally, compared to their 2014 figures.
While the ANC won a sixth term to govern South Africa, it is with 4,65% less support than in 2014. DA support also dwindled, but is still higher than 2009 levels.
Although 5,48% more people registered to vote (2014: 25 388 082 vs 2019: 26 779 025), in total almost a million fewer people voted in the 2019 election than in 2014 (2014: 18 654 771; 2019: 17 671 616). Analysts say the smaller turnout is indicative of voter apathy, as was the number of spoilt votes. There were, however, fewer spoilt votes this year compared with 2014.
The 2014 voter turnout was 73,48%; this year it was 65,99%. Economist Mike Schussler said on Twitter, "Political parties no longer attract voters. The largest two parties saw declines of 12% each. The ANC share of the voting age population has dropped from 37,7% to 26% since 2004."
The ANC retained the eight provinces it governed previously. After a nail-biting wait for the final election results in Gauteng, the ANC will govern with 50,1% of the vote.
During an interview with Group Editors, DA premier candidate Alan Winde said he is aware of the huge challenges in the Western Cape. He said he intended to realise the DA election promise of a job in every household, and that he would bring to the office of the premier a more entrepreneurial, innovative approach.
Winde now faces the difficult task of electing the provincial cabinet that will have to make good on the DA election promises, such as the creation of a provincial police force, more housing opportunities, and job creation.
The DA has received a strong message from the electorate. The party now takes the reins with a smaller majority (2019: 52,39% / 2014: 59,38%). The ANC (2019: 31,26%) remains the official provincial opposition, while the Economic Freedom Fighters (2019: 4,19%) comfortably leads the Freedom Front Plus (2019: 2,81%) and African Christian Democratic Party (2019: 2,80%) in provincial voter support.
The Western Cape Parliament will consist of DA (24 members), ANC (12), EFF (2), ACDP (1), FF+ (1) and Al Jama-ah (1). Voter turnout in the Western Cape was 68,17%, with 20 890 spoilt votes.
In total, 2 129 941 voters participated in the election. Of the rest of the parties, the three with the most votes who did not manage to obtain a seat in the provincial parliament are Icosa (9 536), Cape Party (9 326), and Cope (6 526). Icosa retained the majority support in the party's stronghold, Kannaland, also the hometown of its president, Jeffrey Donson. Icosa shed 2 091 votes in the 2019 election.
Bucking national trend
While it seems that DA voters may have differentiated their support between the provincial and national vote, Mossel Bay voters seem to have bucked that trend and consolidated their support for the party.
In virtually every ward the DA managed to increase their support. Considering the provincial results, Mossel Bay scored the most DA votes (61%) compared to other constituencies in the Western Cape. Considering all of the votes, Hessequa (71,43%) did the DA proud with the highest voter turnout.
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