Even though the DA won the Drakenstein by-election in Ward 17 on Wednesday 23 November, the FF Plus made its presence felt by giving the ruling party a run for its money.
The by-election was held after DA councillor Jako Matthee recently resigned. Ward 17 consists of the Paarl North town area as well as the rural area of Nieuwedrift, also in Paarl North.
DA councillor Lorraine Cyster narrowly won the election with 797 votes against Pierre du Toit of the FF Plus, who got 661 votes. In the 2021 municipal election the DA won this ward with 2 251 votes against the FF Plus’ 366 votes.
According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the DA won 79,96% of the votes in last year’s municipal election compared to this year’s 49,72%.
The results of the by-election not only show a large drop in votes for the ruling party in the Drakenstein Municipality, but according to statistics from IEC statistics it also shows only 37,75% of the residents in Ward 17 voted in this by-election.
Dr Corné Mulder, leader of the FF Plus in the Western Cape, attributes the growth in support to increasing voter confidence in the FF Plus’ stability as well as policies that inspire confidence.
In a media statement he said: “After almost 30 years voters have grown tired of a ruling party that only breaks down and opposition parties that only criticise.
The FF Plus’ policy offers hope for the future.
“What happened yesterday [Wednesday 23 November] in Drakenstein shows minorities realise they can reach out to one another and empower themselves and their communities with their voices.”
Councillor André Fourie of the local FF Plus wrote in a letter to Paarl Post saying the DA got the majority of its votes from the rural area. See page 10.
Numerous attempts to get a hold of the campaign manager of the DA were unsuccessful.
The ANC’s support stood at 5,34% and the EFF at 0,25%.