The second day of vote counting in the 2021 local government elections is still underway on Wednesday and in rural KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the battle for municipal governance in Nkandla is shaping up for a blockbuster finish.
IFP on course to win Nkandla
The settlement, renowned in politics as a stronghold of the African National Congress (ANC), where former president Jacob Zuma resides, may be under a new administration by the end of the election process.
At this time, the opposition party led by Mangosuthu Buthelezi is on course to snatch 12 out of 14 wards in Nkandla. But, this is not the only district where the IFP has enjoyed popularity in KZN.
According to the party’s national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa, the 13 municipalities the IFP won in 2016 have been retained with districts such as King Cetshwayo, Emadlangeni and Dannhauser added to their tally thus far in this election.
“All in all, the IFP comes out of this election with an added burden of responsibility for the purposes of governance and we are equal to the task in that regard. It’s not a victory we take with glee because the situation is that dire for those communities. They want an improvement in their lives and so, this is not a moment of celebration per se, but a moment of embracing the responsibility,” Hlengwa said.
WATCH: IFP members at Nkandla local municipality's ward 14 gathering to celebrate snatching the ANC ward where former President Jacob Zuma lives. The IFP fielded a 30 year old candidate named Philani Nkwanyana. @IOL #Elections2021 pic.twitter.com/YM4FYDEtt4— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) November 2, 2021
Jacob Zuma ward taken over by Buthelezi
Perhaps, the biggest victory for the IFP in Nkandla in this election was witnessed in ward 14, where the ANC has enjoyed immense support in previous years, by proxy of Zuma’s popularity in the region.
In 2016, the ANC made it close with 51.26% of the vote in the ward, compared to the IFP’s 47.34%. However, in a span of one municipal election cycle, the tables sure turned violently against the ANC.
According to the latest IEC results, the IFP has won over Zuma’s stronghold ward by a landslide 61.61%, with the ANC falling to 32.49% of the votes.