The African National Congress (ANC) has claimed a victory over the Democratic Alliance (DA). This follows the by-elections in eThekweni on October 3.
During the by-elections, the ANC, managed to walk away with Ward 71 in Chatsworth. This is an area which the DA had initially won during the 2016 municipal elections.
The ward comprises of six voting districts. The largest of the six voting districts is Bottlebrush, the informal settlement, in Chatsworth. There are also the suburbs Crossmoor, Moorton, Shallcross and Malvern.
The ANC candidate, Previn Vedan is a 26-year-old community activist and human-rights lawyer. During the by-elections, he secured a win of 469 votes over his main opponent, Fathima Ismail of the DA.
The ANC is ecstatic about the win, with Bheki Ntuli, the ANC eThekwini regional secretary, claiming this victory reflects the political party in a positive light. He claims it shows the ANC isn’t only trusted by the black communities, but also people of other races.
Ntuli explains Ward 71 is predominately an Indian suburb and he is sure it is only a matter of time before the ANC clinches other areas previously controlled by the opposition party.
While the ANC is thrilled about the results of the by-elections, the DA is disappointed in the ANC victory.
Nicole Graham, the eThekwini DA leaders, says the DA will have to look at various factors. Factors which possibly play a key role in the party losing the Ward. But the Democratic Alliance is still positive. Graham says this is because there are still a number of wards in Chatsworth the DA still controls.
Furthermore, despite the loss, Graham says the party will still service the community to the best of party’s ability.
As the ANC celebrates the victory, is this a sign of renewed trust in the party since President Cyril Ramaphosa took over? Only time will tell, as we build up to the 2019 elections.