In line with the DA’s massive gains in the by-elections country-wide the outcomes of those in Kouga proved the strong groundswell away from the governing party and non-delivery.
Ward 9 Kouga – Hankey:
DA 2011: 33%
DA 2013: 44%
Ward 5 Kouga – Arcadia:
DA 2011: 55%
DA 2013: 58%
These results depict a positive growth by the DA of 11% in Hankey and 3% in Arcadia. However, the balance of power in Kouga remains in the control of the ANC by a slender majority of one councillor i.e. the ANC 15 councillors and DA 14 councillors.
This result furthermore does not mean the end of the massive problems for Kouga which have been created by the same ANC regime. This includes challenges like the following:
• A debt totalling close to R100 million
• Being rated by an independent ratings agency, Ratings Africa, as the worst performing municipality in the Eastern Cape and fourth from last in South Africa.
• The appointment of four of the six most senior municipal officials were declared null and void by a special declaratory order issued by the ANC’s top brass.
The ANC suffered a severe blow in Ward 5 in Humansdorp by fielding their own Executive Mayor, Booi Koerat, who was defeated by a the DA new comer, Desmond Petersen. This leaves a huge question mark over the future of Booi Koerat in the ANC and his own political capacity.
The successful new councillor, Desmond Petersen, is highly qualified in the fields of engineering and chemistry and has vast business experience both locally and abroad.
In Ward 9 in Hankey, according to Nosimo Balendlela: “The DA made a big dent in an ANC stronghold. The 11 % DA growth is this traditional ANC based Ward was phenomenal.”
This outstanding result was achieved amidst high levels of intimidation. Athol Trollip, the DA provincial leader, describes this as follows: “The intimidation that took place yesterday in Ward 9 in Kouga where roads were frequently blocked by ANC supporters to prevent voters coming to the polls highlights the panic reaction of the ANC to the prospect of losing power in this municipality.”
These respective results indicate that the DA is on track to do well in the 2014 elections in the Eastern Cape and rest of South Africa.