NEWS ANALYSIS: Has the DA shaken off its ‘white party’ image?

THE DA’s success at the polls in Cape Town came as no surprise‚ but has the party managed to grow votes in so-called townships and shake its “white” party image?

The University of Stellenbosch’s professor Fanie Cloete says it is too soon to say‚ but the party has certainly consolidated its power in the Cape metro and throughout the province.

“There are allegations of a surge in Khayelitsha. We are still waiting on the final figures in Khayelitsha. I wouldn’t want to make comments on allegations,” he said.

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“With the overall results nearly concluded‚ at this stage what is clear-cut is the consolidation of DA strength‚ even in Khayelitsha.”

The DA took Cape Town with an outright majority‚ claiming 66.61% of the vote. The ANC scored 24.36% and the Economic Freedom Fighters won 3.17% of the vote.

On the IEC results map‚ in pockets of the city‚ mainly in Khayelitsha‚ the ANC’s support appears to have remained fierce‚ but some votes were lost to the DA and EFF.

In Khayelitsha’s Ward 18 the DA’s support grew from 1.67% in the 2011 municipal elections to 12.84% in these elections‚ while the ANC’s dropped from 89.39% in 2011 to 71.13% this year. The EFF won 9.79% of the vote.

After the party’s victory in the Cape, mayor-elect Patricia de Lille said she believed the election results had shown the DA was not a party that did not care about black people.

Fourie says the DA’s impressive performance is not limited to the province’s metro.

In the Western Cape the party has taken 20 municipalities with an outright majority.

In municipalities where there is no majority winner‚ he expects coalition negotiations will add to the DA’s power.

Fourie named the Prince Albert‚ Beaufort West‚ Laignsburg‚ Kannaland‚ Knysna‚ Witzenberg and Bitou municipalities as ones to watch once the results are final and parties decide who to get into bed with.

“Declarations have been made but now there are still negotiations for coalitions‚” he said.

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