KZN: Stand by for a new government

uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) agents at the Elections Result Centre, at the Durban ICC. Photographer: Khaya Ngwenya / Independent Newspapers

uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) agents at the Elections Result Centre, at the Durban ICC. Photographer: Khaya Ngwenya / Independent Newspapers

Published May 31, 2024


Durban — For the first time in 20 years, the ANC’s once-tight majority is threatened in KwaZulu-Natal as the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) leads the province while the tallying of votes continues.

By 5pm on Thursday, the Jacob Zuma-led MKP was leading the pack with over 114 000 votes in KZN, followed by its staunch rival, the ANC, with more than 54 000 votes.

High on confidence amid the positive results, MKP said in a statement: “Your vigilance is crucial as the election counting continues. Given clear intentions by ANC members to rig the elections, your presence ensures the integrity of our democratic process.”

The party added: “Thank you to those who guarded the stations. Your dedication brings us closer. Stay strong and alert – victory is certain!”

The IFP, which mounted a fierce campaign to win back the province, trailed at number three with just over 53 000, while its Multi-Party Charter member, the DA, had mustered just over 26 000 votes by 5pm.

If the ANC fails to get an outright majority, the province would be governed by a coalition government for the first time since the first democratic elections in 1994.

As things stand, it is unclear which parties would band together to govern the province.

However, the IFP and the DA already have a working agreement under the Multi-Party Charter in a bid to unseat the ANC from the political throne.

The ANC has been leading the province since 2004, after toppling the IFP during former president Thabo Mbeki’s tenure.

The DA’s premier candidate, Chris Pappas, said he had already predicted that the province would be hung since he began his election campaign early this year.

“We already predicted that the province would be hung with no outright winner,” he said at the result operations centre in Durban on Thursday.

“We are still banking on the votes in eThekwini (which were yet to be declared by 5pm on Thursday).”

At stake is control of the country’s National Assembly, with 400 seats, and the 80-seater KZN Provincial Legislature.

Nationally, the governing party’s majority also hung in the balance in the province of Gauteng, which houses the country's administrative capital of Pretoria and the key economic hub of Johannesburg.

Zuma dramatically dumped the ANC and endorsed the MKP in December. Ever since then, he has been criss-crossing the country in an attempt to woo voters.

From the results that have been tallied, it appears that his spirited campaign is paying off in spades.

More votes will be counted in the coming days, with official results expected to be announced on Sunday.

Ntombifuthi Masinga, the KwaZulu-Natal electoral officer for the Independent Electoral Commission, updated the media, saying that the process of counting was going well in the province.

She also announced that two voters had died in two separate incidents.

Masinga said counting was still ongoing in the eThekwini metro, the ANC stronghold, and also in the Pietermaritzburg and Ugu districts.

The picture is expected to change and become a little clearer by midday on Friday (today) when more votes will have been counted countrywide.

The ANC stood at more than 1 million votes, followed by the DA with 542 951, with Julius Malema’s EFF bagging 192 700, the MKP 172 995, while the PA was at 89 000.

As results trickled in, South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has predicted that the ANC will get around 42% of the vote in the national election.

Most political leaders have adopted a wait-and-see approach as there is a long way to go before the official results are declared.

The official results are expected to be announced on Sunday.

More than 27.7 million people had registered to vote nationally, with 5.7 million in KZN.

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