THE African National Congress (ANC) on Friday morning appeared to be poised to retain South Africa’s economic heartland, Gauteng, however the party’s grip on the province appears to be slackening as votes continue to trickle in.
With the counting of 95% of the votes from polling stations countrywide finalised, the ANC looks to have received 62.5% of the national vote.
However, it has only secured 52% of the national ballot in Gauteng, trailed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) at 30%.
This means that the party has dropped 12 percentage points in Gauteng, which is the epicentre of the ANC’s political machinery.
The DA funnelled major resources into its Gauteng campaign, with the party not only eyeing the benefits of a reduced ANC majority but also focusing on building the brand of DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane.
However, according to the most recent election results in Gauteng’s major metros, the DA may now have to look to the 2016 local government elections to take power in a metro in the province.
Speaking at the DA command centre on Friday morning, leader Helen Zille said she was pleased with the party’s performance.
“We have increased our vote (to) 30% in the province. On Wednesday night it seemed the ANC would struggle to get above 50% and we (DA) were looking at possibly getting just on 50%.
“The ANC has reached just over 50%. However, they have still taken a big hit, which should be a wake-up call to them,” she said.