DA’s coalition with smaller parties under scrutiny after loss of two wards in Oudtshoorn

Voting Reuters - DA’s coalition with smaller parties under scrutiny after loss of two wards in Oudtshoorn

The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) coalition with smaller parties in Oudtshoorn will come under scrutiny following their two by-election losses in the Little Karoo town.

Three wards were being contested. Two were taken by the African National Congress and the DA retained one.

The by-elections were called after the resignation of three DA councillors.

Electoral Commission happy with by-elections: 

The councillors are said to have quit the party after the resignation of former Mayor Colan Sylvester. Sylvester was allegedly pushed out by the party after helping secure a DA win for Oudtshoorn in the 2016 local government elections.

The DA now has 12 seats in the local council and the ANC nine seats. They govern through an alliance with the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa and the South African Religious Civic Organisation.

Following the November by-election, DA Federal Council Chairperson Helen Zille said there was a decline in DA support amongst voters in the rural areas of the Western Cape.

She said this was due to the party’s “Free-Fall” years between 2016 and 2019 – referring to Patricia de Lille’s expulsion.

The DA now controls 20 municipalities compared to 30 in 2016. Zille says they will have to learn from their experiences with the 2021 municipal elections around the corner.

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