News / Africa

Democratic Alliance Shows Significant Gains in South African Election

People queue to cast their ballots in local municipality elections, in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, May 18, 2011
People queue to cast their ballots in local municipality elections, in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, May 18, 2011

South Africa’s Democratic Alliance is celebrating significant gains in this local government election over its performance in 2006. Support for the African National Congress was slightly down but the party continues to convincingly dominate politics in the country.

The Democratic Alliance, or DA, increased its support nationally among voters from about 15 percent in 2006 to around 23 percent this time around - an achievement it is already hailing as a gain for democracy in South Africa.  Lindiwe Mazibuko, the DA’s national spokesperson told eNews television her party was unique in increasing voter support.

“And that is something to celebrate because it means we are moving towards a situation where people will feel like they have choices, a choice between two parties which have government experience, and which have a service delivery record to be challenged on, when election time comes around, and that can only be good for our democracy,” said Mazibuko.

After the local government election in 2006, the DA needed to form a coalition to govern the country’s so-called mother city, Cape Town. This time around the DA has won an outright majority.

In Nelson Mandela Bay, in the heartland of African National Congress support, the DA increased its support to 40 percent from 25 percent.

The big loser in this election is the Inkatha Freedom Party, or IFP, whose support is predominantly confined to the Zulu-dominated Kwa-Zulu Natal province.  The IFP has lost significant support to the new kid-on-the-block, the National Freedom Party or NFP.  The NFP split from the IFP last year.

Traditionally in South Africa, local government elections have a much lower turnout than national elections of less than 50 percent.  In the 2006 election, only 48 percent of voters exercised their right to vote, but the Independent Electoral Commission says this time the turnout is well above fifty percent.

Some of the DA’s success comes from its merger last year with the Independent Democratics whose former leader, the feisty Patricia de Lille, is now the mayor-elect of Cape Town.  De Lille brought with her to the DA significant support from the mixed race voters, particularly in Cape Town and other areas of the Western Cape province.

But the DA, which has its roots in the apartheid era liberal progressive party, has also won support in black communities taking several wards across the country from the ANC.   

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid