COPE is emerging as potentially the biggest loser in these elections, shedding support in dramatic fashion in councils in the Northern Cape, where counting has been concluded.
It slumped from 30.03 percent of the vote in the Northern Cape municipality of Thembelihle in 2011 to a paltry 5.29 percent this time around, allowing the ANC to walk away with the council with 55.51 percent, despite dropping 0.52 percentage points compared to its previous showing.
The DA and EFF appear to have been the beneficiaries of COPE’s implosion in Thembelihle, with the former gaining 10.41 percentage points to improve from 12.6 percent last time to 23.01 percent this time, while the EFF scored 11.47 percent from a zero base in the last elections.
In Kamiesberg, the other Northern Cape council to have completed counting, COPE slid from 11.2 percent to 0.80 percent.
These results appear to mirror the party’s disastrous performance in the 2014 elections, when it won just three seats, compared to the 30 seats it won in its first elections in 2009.
The DA, meanwhile, has won its first council in these elections, taking Berg River in the Western Cape, with 64.01 percent in a two-horse race with the ANC, which got 32.56 percent.
The DA’s performance was a significant improvement on 2011, when it got 52.95 percent, compared to the ANC’s 34.97 percent.