While the Democratic Alliance (DA) controls only one of the eight metros and the African National Congress (ANC) the other seven, data on voting trends suggest that in next year’s local elections the ANC will be vulnerable in at least two other metros too.
Voting results from the 2000, 2006 and 2011 local elections, as well as municipal disaggregation from the provincial elections last year, suggest the proportional representation electoral system will be pivotal in the outcome of next year’s poll.
Last year’s provincial results reflect voters’ registered residence, but next year’s will be influenced by registration, turnout and changes in allegiance — including independent candidates.
Support for the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay dropped by three percentage points from 2011 to last year, taking the party below 50% of votes cast, compounding a downward trend from 2000-2014, during which there has been a 17 percentage point drop in ANC support.
In data terms, some variable has to change to arrest this sustained downward trend. The ANC is well aware that a game changer is needed, presumably prompting its decision to parachute in Danny Jordaan as new mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay to replace octogenarian Ben Fihla.
The choice, before Fifagate, looked inspired; Jordaan has deep personal roots in the metro and, until recently, he had an untarnished 2010 World Cup delivery record as head of the South African Football Association.
The association’s dealings with Fifa officials have now proved to be a liability as the scandal continues to unfold.
In Tshwane, support for the ANC dropped