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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

ANC are surging ahead in polls countrywide says spokesperson

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- The latest results showed that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) is surging ahead nationally in the local government elections, ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said on Thursday.

According to results released by 20:00, the ANC has garnered 54.15 percent of the vote nationwide.

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) is trailing behind at a mere 26.9 percent.

The ANC "is buoyant and energized" at the latest results, Kodwa said.

This result affirms the organization’s confidence that South Africans have once again entrusted the ANC with managing the country’s municipalities, he said.

South Africans have once again come out countrywide to reaffirm the ANC’s progressive, pro-poor, pro-development service delivery agenda, said Kodwa.

The elections, seen by many as being the most contested since 1994, took place on Wednesday.

For the first time in history, the elections saw 200 political parties and over 61,000 candidates participating to seek control of more than 200 municipalities.

The ANC has run a positive election campaign grounded in confidence and optimism, and rooted in the organization’s outstanding service delivery track record, Kodwa noted.

"As results continue to come in to the National Results Center, the ANC has the utmost confidence that as the evening wears on, we will build on our current base for more than 10 million South Africans who have entrusted the ANC with their vote for us to continue creating a better life for all," Kodwa said.

Contrary to the doomsday predictions of a range of pollsters, commentators and analysts, the voters of South Africa continue to have confidence in the ANC, he said.

Meanwhile, the DA also claimed victory in the elections.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the party has won the majority vote in Nelson Mandela Bay, a highly conteste.

Growth in support for the DA across South Africa as early results showed, bodes well for the DA’s electoral outcomes, the party said.

Voters in Cape Town have re-elected the DA with a resounding majority, early results showed.

In Midvaal, Gauteng Province, the DA has also been re-elected with an increased majority.

"The early results show growth for the DA across the board in South African municipalities, and we are buoyant as we await the newest results that come in," said James Selfe, Chairperson of DA Federal Council.

In Pretoria and Johannesburg, the ANC and DA are running neck to neck.

Election officials say it is still early to say who will be the winner in the two major cities.
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EARLIER REPORT:

Growing support for South African opposition in local elections: early results

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- Support for the South African opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) got a boost across South Africa, early results of the local government elections showed on Thursday.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said counting of votes has been completed in all but a handful of voting stations.

Election officials under the watchful gaze of party agents and observers spent the night sorting and counting ballots at their voting stations to produce results slips for each of the voting stations, the IEC said.

The elections, seen by many as being the most contested since 1994, took place on Wednesday.

For the first time in history, the elections saw 200 political parties and over 61,000 candidates participating.

As at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, 77.8 percent of results had been captured, the IEC said.

Initial results showed that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) maintained a strong lead in most municipalities across the country, but in some cities like Johannesburg, Pretoria and Nelson Mandela Bay, support for the DA grew.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) also made gains in some cities.

But the IEC said people should be patient to wait for the final results.

Following the capture process, the results are then subjected to independent audit verification before being finalized, said the IEC.

"This process is now underway in all provinces and will continue until all results have been finalized," said the commission.

Speaking of the initial results, Chairperson of DA Federal Council, James Selfe said early results bode well for the DA’s electoral outcomes.

"In a stamp of approval for the DA’s governance record, voters in Cape Town have re-elected the DA with a resounding majority, which we can project to be our strongest result in Cape Town ever," he said.

Voters have endorsed the DA record of good governance in Cape Town in their numbers, Selfe said.

In Midvaal district, Gauteng Province, the DA has been re-elected with an increased majority, he said.

"We view this as a clear recognition of the DA’s successes in governing Midvaal to be the best-run Municipality in Gauteng," Selfe said.

"We can also now confirm that the Kouga Municipality in the Eastern Cape and the Cape Agulhas Municipality in the Western Cape is projected to be an outright majority for the DA, and we look forward to bringing the DA difference to Kouga and Cape Agulhas," he said.

In the Western Cape results so far show that voters have come out to re-elect the DA with outright majorities in Bergrivier, Langeberg, and Overstrand returning the DA to govern.

"The early results show growth for the DA across the board in South African municipalities, and we are buoyant as we await the newest results that come in," he said.
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ELSEWHERE:

Safety of PAP members paramount to South Africa: Parliament speaker

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- The safety and security of all members of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) remain of paramount importance to South Africa and its Parliament, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said on Thursday.

She was speaking after visiting the injured PAP member Aissatou Sowe Diawara, who is in hospital following an attack in Johannesburg last week.

Mbete reassured Diawara of the South African government’s commitment to arresting those involved in the attack on July 28.

Diawara and three other PAP members were attacked while on their way to a hotel from the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

The other three persons were unharmed, but their belongings, including travel documents, were taken.

Diawara of Senegal is recuperating in hospital after suffering serious injuries.

She arrived in South Africa to attend the PAP Plenary held in Midrand near Johannesburg from July 29 to August 5.

The South African Police will continue to investigate this criminal act, Mbete said.

No one has been arrested for the attack which highlights the seriousness of crime in the country.

The PAP has condemned the increasing attacks on its members and demanded heightened security for MPs.

The PAP also demanded for the relocation of the PAP headquarters from South Africa to a country where their security can be guaranteed if the host country cannot give assurances of their safety.

Responding to the concerns, Mbete said the political leadership and the administration of the South African Parliament remain seized with the safety of Members of the PAP as the host country by facilitating engagement with the relevant departments.

Parliament will continue to give her the necessary support during her stay in the country, Mbete said.
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SEE ALSO:

FOCUS: South African local elections getting off to a good start

           

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