Fri. Jan 22nd, 2021

Elections: Six key battlegrounds where the DA lost support

DA township electionsThe DA are still reeling from their own goals in the 2019 Elections. But recently-released data shows how the tide has turned against them, even in township strongholds.

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The 2019 Elections were not favourable to the DA. Despite holding on to overall control of the Western Cape, their majority was reduced. They also chalked up a disappointing national performance, losing ground from 2014.

However, their losses have been keenly felt in former strongholds and settlements of South Africa. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have published their findings on how the opposition party performed in the biggest townships of both Gauteng and the Cape.

DA performance in the 2019 Elections

Mmusi Maimane and his organisation had targeted Gauteng as a province they could realistically prize away from the ANC, even if that meant forming a coalition with other parties. However, the governing party managed to retain their majority in a narrow victory.

The CSIR has analysed some of South Africa’s most densely-populated settlements and collected data from the previous two General Elections and the most-recent Municipal Elections. Here’s how the DA is now shaping up:

How the DA’s support has changed in Gauteng’s townships


  • 2014 General Election: 6.7%
  • 2016 Municipal Election: 9.1%
  • 2019 General Election: 5.8%


  • 2014 General Election: 6.9%
  • 2016 Municipal Election: 8.5%
  • 2019 General Election: 5.2%


  • 2014 General Election: 4.3%
  • 2016 Municipal Election: 7.3%
  • 2019 General Election: 4.6%

How the DA support has changed in the Western Cape’s townships


  • 2014 General Election: 2.8%
  • 2016 Municipal Election: 8.7%
  • 2019 General Election: 3.1%

Mitchell’s Plain

  • 2014 General Election: 84.4%
  • 2016 Municipal Election 85%
  • 2019 General Election: 71.4%

Grassy Park

  • 2014 General Election: 84.1%
  • 2016 Municipal Election: 84.6%
  • 2019 General Election: 68.3%

DA fail to convince township residents

In a majority of townships, the DA have lost support in the five years between both national elections. In every area surveyed, their share of the votes dropped since the Municipal Elections three years ago. It’s a damning indictment for the party, who have a long road of introspection ahead of them.

It perhaps rubs salt in their wounds that Patricia de Lille’s Good Party were highly responsible for eating away at their support base, too – particularly in the Western Cape. Aunty Pat’s orange wave registered a sterling debut performance in both Mitchell’s Plain and Grassy Park.

Townships: ANC performance in the 2019 Elections

The research also touches on the ANC, who recorded a modest performance of their own in 2019 despite winning eight out of nine provinces and the national vote.

Hundreds of thousands of voters have ditched the party for pastures new, but it seems some loyalty remains strong out there. The ANC encountered a surge of support from Alex, Diepsloot and Soweto in 2019, after a largely unconvincing performance in 2016.

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