Ladies and Gentlemen
We acknowledge the presence of the of the Premier, Speaker of the Legislature, MEC’s, Mayors, Municipal Managers, Chapter 9 institutions, SACC, Political Parties, reps from Limpopo Provincial and Local Govt, Municipal Reps, Commissioner of Police, Traditional Leaders, Reps from all media houses both print and electronic.
It gives me a great pleasure to welcome you to the closing function of the fifth Democratic Municipal elections.
The 2016 Municipal Elections are without doubt the toughest test we have faced as an institution since the dawn of our democracy 22 years ago. We took the challenge with both hands and we became victorious in many respects:
In the lead up to these elections we set ourselves some goals:
- We wanted to register at least 100 000 new voters for these elections. By the time the voter’s roll was certified, we had registered over 140 000 new voters and a record 2. 566 million in total.
- We wanted to make it easier and more convenient for voters to apply for special votes. A record 57 000 – applied for special votes – with more than half using the internet or SMS to apply
- We wanted to make it easier for parties and candidates to register. A record number of parties and candidates contested these elections – many of whom used our online candidate nomination system to submit nominations
- We wanted to exceed the voter turnout levels of the previous municipal election in 2011 which was 50.05 percent. We achieved a voter turnout of exactly 50.4 percent. The growth is minimal and regrettable and several Municipalities in particular from Vhembe District contributed to our demise. These are Thulamela, Makhado and the new Municipality all of which had a participation of less than 47>#/li###
- We wanted to reduce the number of spoiled ballots from 2.3 percent in 2011. It reduced to 1.56 percent
Credit should go to the political parties of Limpopo – despite their differences and their hard-fought campaigns – ultimately respect the law, the electoral process in our country and the will of the people. The contestation on the ground was also fierce and at the end the best Party and Candidates won the elections.
The IEC is satisfied with the proceedings of Election Day and the Chairperson of The Commission has declared the Elections as Free, Fair and Credible.
Counting and Capturing Result Slips
The first 5 result slips were captured an Hour after Voting Stations closed their doors while the last three were captured around 21H30 on Friday 5th August 2016 in Makhuduthamaga Municipality. By 19H00 on the 4th August 2016 – 24 Hours after Voting Stations closed; 8 of the 22 Municipalities across Limpopo Province had completed capturing and had declared the results. This was 36% of the total Municipalities.
Voter turn-out and Spoilt Balots
We have always maintained that voter apathy is not a feature in our dynamic democracy. Not only is the voter turnout for these elections slightly higher than we have had for the 2011 Municipal Elections, but it is also the highest that we have had in the history of democratic municipal elections in this country. We have broken International Standards on participation in Municipal elections. Of the 2.5m registered Voters in Limpopo, 1.287, 713, or 50.4% cast their ballots on Election Day. This is a growth of just over 0.3% from the 50.05% of 2011 Municipal Elections. We are worried about half of the Registered Voters that did not show-up at the Stations.
The top 5 Local Municipalities that should take credit for higher % Voter turnout are Modimolle/Mookgopong 57,54%; Maruleng 56,34%; Belabela 55,46%; Greater Giyani and Musina both at 55,10%.
Our figure for Spoilt Ballots is worrying in that a record 40, 022 or 1.56% votes were spoilt for both Local PR and Ward Ballots combined. Of the 1,140, 227 votes cast for the DC ballots, 19, 645 were spoilt. Like in 2011, the highest recorded spoilt ballots for the district were in Sekhukhune at 6, 236. The highest recorded spoilt ballots like in 2011 for the local Municipalities is still in Polokwane at 5, 060 votes. In total 2, 519 votes were spoilt for the Ward Ballot, 2 541 for the PR Local Ballot.
Of the 25 342 election officials that were recruited for these elections, we had to relieve 6 Senior Officials (in the form of Area Managers, PO’s and DPO’s) of their duties due to various reasons ranging from impartiality to bias towards Candidates and Political Parties. This was done in line with the Code of Conduct for our Staff members and also to ensure integrity of elections.
Official Results of 2016 Municipal Elections
Of the 56 Political Parties that registered to contest the 1, 376 seats available in Limpopo and the 100 Independent Candidates that were contesting the 566 Ward seats only, 24 Political Parties and 3 Independent Candidates have won a minimum of 1 seat and a maximum of 854 Seats for the ANC. The top 3 parties in the Province are the ANC with 854 seats, EFF with 209 seats and DA with 103 seats. In terms of percentage support, the ANC has 69.3% down from 80.3% in 2011; followed by the EFF which was contesting the Municipal elections for the first time with 16.82% support then the DA at 8.09% a growth from 6.54% obtained in 2011. The ANC as a leading Party in the Province has won all the Wards in 8 Municipalities, i.e. Makhuduthamaga, Greater Giyani, Greater Letaba, Musina, Thulamela, Blouberg, Molemole, Lepelle-Nkumpi and Greater Tubatse/Fetakgomo. In addition, of the 566 Wards contested in Limpopo, ANC won 535, DA 24, EFF 3, Independents 3, and Civic Warriors of Maruleng 1.
In Summary: ANC 854 seats, EFF 209, DA 103, COPE 11, VF+ 7, Bolsheviks Part of SA 4, and 3 each for PAC, APC, Civic Warriors, Azapo, Ximoko, ACDP, and Independents. 2 each for Thabazimbi Residence Association and SAMEBA, and finally 1 each for National Ind Party, Mogalakwena Res Association, APSP, BRA, Socialist Agenda of Dispossessed Africans, Lebowakgomo Civic Organization, International Revelation Congress, Mpumalanga Party, Limpopo Residence Association and Lepelle-Nkumpi Development Party.
The Independents have won Ward 1 seat each in the following Municipalities, Ephraim Mogale, New Municipality and Maruleng. We already have a by-election for the New Municipality in Ward 3 as the deceased Candidate had won a seat.
Objections material to results of election
Disputes and complaints are inherent to an election and will always arise during an electoral process. It is therefore incumbent upon the electoral laws to provide for the means and mechanisms to ensure that electoral processes are not marred by irregularities, and provide mechanisms to prevent electoral disputes, including resolving them, either by institutional means, informal mechanisms or any alternative means of resolution as may be required.
In South Africa, Section 65 of the Local Government: Municipal
Electoral Act deals with the handling of objections that are material to results of an election.
6 Political Parties lodged objections in terms of Section 65, ANC, EFF, ACDP, UDM, COPE and APSP. The Commission has concluded all of them and proceeded to announce election results.
There are still outstanding cases that are being investigated by the Police relating to elections. We hope that we will find closure to these cases soon.
The IEC will within the next 14 Days set appointments with Local Municipalities to elect the 153 or 60% of the indirectly elected Councillors to make the 245 District Councillors in the Province.
In conclusion, I would like to pay tribute to the Political Parties in the Province, in particular members of the PLC, our 25 000 Electoral Officials, MEO’s and both the Provincial and Local Staff. These men and women worked for several days with dedication and efficiency in conducting the 2016 municipal elections in an environment that was smooth, peaceful, transparent, free and fair. Without exception, the SAPS and member of the Provincial JOC, relevant Govt Depts have offered valuable support.
To all the democracy and freedom loving residents of Limpopo, we thank you for participating in this election. Without you, there shall be no democracy in this Country
Our slogan for these elections was “The future is in your hands”. It was a message we sent to the voters of South Africa.
Those voters have now spoken and they have chosen. They have sent a message of the future they want in their villages, towns, and cities.
The responsibility to deliver on this promised future now passes to the 1 223 councillors who have been elected in this election.
Our future is now in your hands.
Take good care of it.
Thank you and God Bless South Africa!
Closing of the Provincial Results Operation Centre
And announcement of results
Address by Nkaro Mateta
Provincial Electoral Officer