Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema is due to visit Coligny in the North West on Wednesday to celebrate the party’s victory in a by-election.
The EFF’s Bongani Cekiso narrowly won the vote in ward 15 under the Ditsobotla local municipality with 36.48 percent of the votes cast. The ruling African National Congress had previously won with 54.79 percent of the votes in 2016 municipal elections.
Results released by the Electoral Commission of SA showed the EFF received 699 votes this time around, narrowly beating the ANC which had 688. The Democratic Alliance had 374, while VF PLUS garnered 124 and an independent candidate received 32 votes.
The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in North West province said the ANC’s poor performance in Coligny must serve as a wake-up call for the ruling party.
“Unless service delivery issues receive the urgent attention they deserve, we fear for the worst in the forthcoming elections,” said provincial chairperson Paul Sebegoe.
He said addressing concerns about poor services, arrogance and corruption would restore the confidence of communities.
“We will without doubt pay dearly if we take them for granted and continue on the current elitist trajectory which puts party leaders and their interests above those of our communities,” Sebegoe said. Sanco is an ally of the ANC.
North West premier and ANC provincial chairperson Supra Mahumapelo attributed the defeat to internal conflict within the ANC, saying the process of selecting a candidate was flawed.