THE 2016 local government elections took place on August 3.
Despite the dismal weather conditions, the voter turnout was in the region of 60%, which is in line with the national average. Most of our stations opened on time and the IEC performed their duties well.
The Democratic Alliance has grown by about 3%, which is also in line with its national performance. We were hoping for a seventh seat in council, but due to the two smallest parties (the UDM and the ACDP) not being able to garner enough votes for a seat, their votes were split proportionally between the parties that did win seats, so of course the bulk of those went to the ANC who then claimed the seat.
It is unfortunate that in municipal elections in a small municipality such as ours, those opposing the ruling party cannot seem to stand together as one. Had we done so, we would have now had a stronger voice in council. As it stands, the council consists of 13 ANC seats, six DA seats and one EFF seat.
We are, of course, delighted that all the incredibly hard work of our colleagues in Nelson Mandela Metro has paid off and that we are set to bring clean governance to the biggest metro in the Eastern Province. This will in turn have very positive spin-offs for the surrounding municipal areas.
We look forward to dispelling all the rumours that are spread as campaign tactics by those desperately hanging on to power nationally. Nonsense such as the DA not paying social grants (the Western Cape has the highest beneficiary rate in the country) and bringing back apartheid (we are the most diverse party in the history of South Africa) are disgusting ploys used by a party in crisis. The fact that they use these tactics to intimidate the most vulnerable members of our society is shameful.
We wish to thank every member, candidate and activist who worked so hard in the run up to the elections, and on election day itself, in order to promote freedom, fairness and opportunity for all South Africans. To all of you who voted for the DA, thank you so much for bringing about the change we so desperately need in this beautiful country. Viva DA, viva!