By staff reporter
A low voter turn-out, fewer votes for the big parties and an increase in support of the small parties characterised the local government elections in Kouga on Monday, 1 November.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) managed to retain Kouga with a majority of 52,26% . However, the number of ward and PR votes for the party dropped from 42 907 in 2016 to 33 826 in the elections this week.
Similarly, support for the African National Congress (ANC) decreased from 30 816 in 2016 to 24 789 in the latest elections. This is according to and judging by the final figures and result by the IEC today on its website.
Thirty seats were up for grabs and the DA secured 16 of the 30 seats in the Kouga Council and the ANC 11. The DA will have nine ward councillors and seven PR councillors while the ANC will have six ward councillors and five PR councillors.
The remaining three PR seats will be occupied by other parties. For the first time since 2006 more than two parties will be represented in the Kouga Council, with the Vryheidsfront Plus (VF+), Patriotic Alliance (PA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) each securing a seat.
Support for the VF+ increased from 521 ward and PR votes in 2016 to a total of 1 914 this year. Votes for the PA increased from just 159 (2016) to 1 341(2021) while the EFF grew its support from 729 (2016) to 1 210 (2021).
Ward 12, which includes St Francis and Paradise Beach, was again won by the DA, albeit by a new face, Lorraine Maree, following the retirement of long-time ward 12 clr, Ben Rheeder, from politics. Ward 12 also achieved the highest voter turn-out of the 15 wards contested in the Kouga region.