29 May 2014

South Africa: May By-Elections - Sleepless in Soshanguve


On Wednesday, South Africans went to the polls in six wards across four provinces. All of the seats were successfully defended by the incumbents: four by the DA and two by the ANC. It looks like local politics is pretty much back to business as usual. By PAUL BERKOWITZ and WAYNE SUSSMAN.

The 2014 national / provincial elections are over and the new parliament has been sworn in. South Africa is in a sweet spot now, in terms of productivity, stuck between the April holidays and the World Cup Final in June. After the disastrous contraction of the economy in the first quarter, it's hoped that the country will engage in some rolling-up of sleeves and actually do a bit of work.

There was some evidence in the May by-elections of politicians having to sing a bit more lustily for their supper. Although the wards were all retained by the 2011 winners, there were one or two near-upsets and high voter turnouts in two potential swing wards.

In Gauteng, two wards were contested in the Tshwane metro. In ward 27 the ANC defended a ward that became vacant when the party's councillor was imprisoned. The ANC won the ward with...

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