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Political analysts dissect the local elections

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Yesterday, voters took to the polls to vote in the Local Municipal Elections. As the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) counts the final votes, political analysts have been afield sharing their opinions on the campaign process, the elections, and the voter turn out.

Speaking to VOC, political analyst Igsaan Gasnolar explains that while not all votes have been tallied, the Democratic Alliance appears to be leading within the Western Cape and the key metro’s.

He says that given the uncertainty of the exact number of voters, the numbers should be clearer later on Thursday.

“I do think it is too early for some of our political parties and commiserating for some of the political parties,” he said.

In light of recent protests, Gasnolar asserts that many South Africans are expected to have reflected their dissatisfaction with their current municipalities through their vote.

He says that with the inclusion of the Economic Freedom fighters (EFF) in the local elections, the 2016 elections is sure to be interesting.

Gasnolar further notes that analysts need to take into consideration the fact that a number of voters chose to spend election day enjoying themselves with family, citing dissatisfaction with all political parties.

While residents in Bonteheuwel, in a show of protest, opted to spoil their ballots.

He says that many parties have used this election as a means to grow their overall constituency.

“Mmusi Maimane as the DA is hoping to make inroads beyond its 20 per cent ceiling, saying that ‘we can govern beyond the Western Cape’. The EFF is saying that it is the party of the future; but this means that it will have to grow beyond six per cent and run municipalities.”

Describing political parties as disingenuous, Gasnolar says that the idea of splitting votes is impractical considering that South Africa has a voting system of proportional representation.

“The vote for your ward councilor does count, irrespective of whether you are voting for a smaller party or a larger party,” he noted.

He adds that party rhetoric with which politicians engage in, in many instances acts against their political parties.

“We had the president of the ANC call the official opposition snakes, you also saw the democratic alliance make Nelson Mandela the standard of what they have to offer. So, I think this is the nature of what they have to offer and it will be interesting to see how South Africans engage with it in the future.”

In terms of trends, Gasnolar explains that citizens should be monitoring how rural residents vote apposed to urban residents.

He adds that votes garnered by young voters is vital to understanding the efficacy of party campaigning.




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