Parties claim victory in by-elections

Johannesburg - The DA has claimed victory in by-elections held across South Africa on Wednesday, while the ANC said it was humbled after scooping three wards previously held by other political parties and an independent candidate.

By-elections were held in 25 wards. The DA won 17 while the ANC won eight wards.

DA leader Helen Zille claimed victory for winning 17 wards in 19 by-elections it contested in "many battleground wards in major towns and cities".

"The DA thanks all its supporters across South Africa for coming out in their numbers yesterday," she said.

"Through this momentum, we will ensure that the battle for change in South Africa’s cities will be on like never before in 2016."

ANC humbled

"The African National Congress is humbled by the confidence South Africans continue to show in the ability of the ANC to move our country forward," party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.

"They [citizens] communicate loudly through the ballot box that the ANC is a representation of the aspirations of our people and no amount of political posturing by other political parties... will convince them otherwise."

The ANC scooped three wards previously held by other parties and an independent candidate.

ANC candidate Thozamile Qushani won Ward 40 in Port Elizabeth from the Democratic Alliance with 50.59% of the vote.

The ruling party secured Ward four in Indaka, KwaZulu-Natal, with 59% of the vote. The ward was previously held by the Inkatha Freedom Party.

The ANC also won Ward 25 in Rustenburg with 73% of the vote. The ward was previously held by an independent candidate.

In total, the ANC won eight wards in the by-elections, three of which were uncontested - Emakhazeni (Belfast) in Mpumalanga, and Wards six and 12 in Rustenburg in the North West.

63 065 votes cast

The DA won 17 wards in total, but 16 of them were retained from previous elections.

The only ward it scooped from the ANC was Ward 20 in Polokwane, Limpopo, with 64% of the vote.

The DA also won the ward 13 in Mossel Bay, amid violent protests and tension in the town.

A total of 63 065 South Africans cast their votes in the by-elections out of a registered population of 198 640.

The IEC recorded 304 spoilt votes.

Port Alfred was the only ward to record no spoilt votes.

Ward 25 in Rustenburg recorded the highest number of spoilt votes at 102.