Early election results coming out of Wednesday's municipal by-elections indicate that the ANC is losing its foothold in the townships, a crucial voter base for the governing party.
Self-proclaimed "election nerd" Dawie Scholtz said on Twitter on Wednesday morning that the ANC was now down to only 42% support in townships, with votes in Metsimaholo municipality showing the ANC owning a mere 32% share of the vote, the DA 30%, and the EFF 23%.
"The ANC collapsed in Metsimaholo last night. The result is being driven by a massive splintering of the ANC base in the townships. ANC now down to 42% in the townships, with EFF and SACP syphoning off big numbers and DA making small inroads (sic)."
5/ In summary, the ANC collapsed in Metsimaholo last night. The result is being driven by a massive splintering of the ANC base in the townships. ANC now down to 42% in the townships, with EFF and SACP syphoning off big numbers and DA making small inroads.— Dawie Scholtz (@DawieScholtz) November 30, 2017
4/ The model is projecting with 99% confidence that the ANC will not reach 50% in Metsimaholo.— Dawie Scholtz (@DawieScholtz) November 30, 2017
Current projections (with 13% in and still significant margin for error):
This would be a remarkable outcome.
This follows reliable information revealed to HuffPost SA on Wednesday that the ANC allegedly submitted 5,000 names as special voters, but that more than 1,000 of those special voters were found to be deceased.
The DA celebrated the win on Thursday morning.
"The people of Metsimaholo overwhelmingly rejected the poor governance of the ANC, and in their majority voted for change. The ANC received only 19 seats in council, whilst collectively the opposition received 23 seats. The DA received 12 seats, the EFF eight, the MCA two and the FF+ one," Free State DA leader Patricia Kopane said in a statement.
"Opposition parties have heard the call for change and we've come together to form a multiparty coalition government in Metsimaholo that will move the municipality forward again."