THE DA has maintained its lead in the hotly contested Nelson Mandela Bay metro with about 90% of votes tallied.
At about 4pm, figures by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) showed that the DA had 49.49% of the vote, while the ANC had bagged 39.25%. The EFF remained a distant third with about 5% of the vote.
Nelson Mandela Bay metro, which incorporates Port Elizabeth, Despatch and Uitenhage, has been fiercely contested, with some analysts predicting that the DA will unseat the ANC, perhaps as part of a coalition.
In the 2011 local government elections, the ANC won with 51.9% of the vote against the DA’s 40.1%.
Earlier, DA mayoral candidate and provincial leader Athol Trollip said while the results were not final, it did look like the DA would be the biggest party in the 120-seat Nelson Mandela Bay council.
ANC Eastern Cape chairperson Phumulo Masualle on Thursday remained optimistic, saying preliminary results from the metro showed “serious inroads by the ANC”.
“Preliminary data from our party agents show that at the moment we have won 36 wards in the metro and we expect to win more wards as the process unfolds,” said Masualle.
The metro has 60 wards.
“The current 36 wards we have won exhibit growth in the number of wards won by the ANC in the metro and it’s a jump from 34 wards we won in the last local government elections,” Masualle said.
“The ANC continues to takeover wards that previously belonged to the DA, like ward 3 and 10 in the BCMM (Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality) and a number of wards in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro,” he said.
Masualle added: “The DA’s early calling of the Nelson Mandela Bay metro results is nothing but an act of desperation.”