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ANC struggled nationally, but dominant in Vhembe

Date: 06 June 2024 By: Anton van Zyl

Unlike most parts of South Africa, where millions of voters opted for a change in leadership last Wednesday, the residents of the Vhembe region seem to be fairly content with their circumstances. Very few surprises emerged in last week’s election results, with the African National Congress (ANC) maintaining their dominance, raking in 86.46% of the Vhembe votes on the national ballot.

The general election saw the ANC plummeting to just over 40% nationally, with the ruling party now forced to look at coalition partners to push decisions through parliament. Opposition parties also took control of provinces such as the Western Cape. In KwaZulu-Natal, the newly established MK Party is leading the pack, whereas the ANC only has a slim majority in Gauteng.

But on local shores, the ANC obliterated the opposition, garnering the support of 74.23% of the Limpopo voters on the national ballot paper. In the Vhembe region, the party’s support was even stronger, and out of the 346,289 people who made their crosses, almost 300,000 voted for the ANC. The 86.46% of the support was much better than the 77.81% the party received during the 2021 local government elections, but a few percentage points shy of the 88.32% it received during the 2019 elections.

The municipality in Vhembe where the ANC enjoys most of the support is Thulamela. Here, almost 51% of the registered voters arrived at the polls to make their crosses. Out of the 125,393 voters, 112,346 (89.60%) voted for the ANC. In a very distant second place was the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which could convince 5,969 voters (4.76%) to opt for them. The Democratic Alliance (DA) was third with 2,361 votes (1.88%).

The DA was hoping to swap places with the EFF in Makhado, but could only collect 4,550 votes (4.44%) in this municipality. The EFF got 5,305 votes (5.18%), putting them in second place. The ANC collected 85.86% of the votes (88,010) in Makhado.

In the Collins Chabane municipality, 52.32% of the registered voters turned up to make their mark. The ANC was the party of choice for 77,376 (84.46%) of the 91,612 people who made their crosses. The EFF collected 6.61% of the votes (6,052), with the DA in a distant third with 1.87% of the votes (1,714). The ABLE Leadership party, a first-time contender, collected 1.17% of the votes (1,072).

In the smallest municipality in the region, Musina, the ANC enjoyed the support of 80.89% of the voters (21,659). The voter turnout in this municipality was 54.07% and 26,776 people made their crosses. The race for second and third place here was tight, but the EFF beat the DA by a mere 5 votes. The EFF had 7.26% of the support, with the DA third with 7.24%.

The situation regarding the regional ballot in Limpopo was much the same. In total, 1,415,116 valid votes were counted, indicating a voter turnout of just below 51%. The ANC collected 73.38% of the votes, with the EFF in second place with 13.99% of the votes. The DA is third with 5.95% of the votes, with the Freedom Front Plus fourth with 1.14% of the votes.

Prior to the elections, a lot of speculation about the chances of the independent candidates, who could compete for a seat in parliament for the first time in the history of the country was prevalent. In the Vhembe region, three independent candidates tested the waters, but what soon became clear was that the playing field is not level. Blessings Ramovha secured 1,574 (0.11%) of the votes, while Lovemore Ndou had the support of 522 voters (0.04%). Louis Trichardt resident Faith Phathela could only get 273 votes (0.02%), which means her dreams of representing the local people in parliament will have to wait a bit longer.

As far as the provincial ballot is concerned, the ANC received 73.30% of the Limpopo votes. The official opposition in the province remains the EFF, with 14.12% of the votes. The DA is third with 5.96% of the votes, and the Freedom Front Plus received 1.09% of the votes.

The ANC has won 48 seats in the provincial legislature, and the EFF has nine seats. The remaining seats belong to the DA, which gets four, while the Freedom Front Plus, Umkhonto We Sizwe, and the United Africans Transformation parties each get one seat.

The regional ballot decided which candidates will represent Limpopo in the National Assembly. Here, the ANC won 16 seats, while the EFF will be able to send three representatives to Cape Town. The DA won one seat.



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Anton van Zyl

Anton van Zyl has been with the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror since 1990. He graduated from the Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg) and obtained a BA Communications degree. He is a founder member of the Association of Independent Publishers.


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