The history of the Mitchell’s Plain vote

With its population size estimated at at least three times the size of the 2011 Census figure of 310 484 people, there is no doubt that Mitchell’s Plain is a sizeable voting block and a feather in the cap for the party that can persuade its voters to make their crosses in convincing numbers next to their logo come August 3.

Despite it being the birth place of the United Democratic Front on August 20 1983 and its very establishment a direct result of apartheid spatial planning and policies, the Mitchell’s Plain vote has always been elusive for the ANC.

In the first democratic local government elections on Wednesday May 29 1996, the National Party (NP) made a clean sweep in the wards in Mitchell’s Plain.

In the next local government elections on December 5 2000, the NP, which, by then renamed itself as the New National Party (NNP), reached a merger agreement with the Democratic Party and the Federal Alliance to form the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The DA won the majority of Mitchell’s Plain wards in the 2000 election, apart from two wards won by the ANC, namely Ward 75, which consisted of Colorado Park, Highlands Village, Hyde Park, Morgen’s Village, Philippi, Rondevlei Park, Weltevreden Valley, Westgate, Wildwood, Woodlands, New Woodlands and Samora Machel, and Ward 77, which was made up of Lentegeur, Montrose Park, Morgenster, Alpine Park, Beacon Valley and Portland – these were won by ANC councillors, Wandile Nwele and Ikbal Salwary.

Mr Nkwele has since joined Congress of the People and Mr Salwary formed his own party this year, the Local People’s Party, made up of mostly community leaders (“Local leaders launch new party,” Plainsman, July 13), which will be contesting the upcoming elections.

While Ward 77 no longer falls within Mitchell’s Plain, the area has an additional ward this year in the form of Ward 116 (Montrose Park, MontClaire, Mandalay and parts of Beacon Valley).

The DA maintained its hold over Mitchell’s Plain in the local government elections of 2006 and 2011 and seems likely to do so again in the fifth local government elections on Wednesday August 3 despite many more political parties, including the Economic Freedom Fighters, the Freedom Front Plus and independent candidates entering the fray for the Mitchell’s Plain vote.

The DA candidates contesting the elections in Mitchell’s Plain are: Elton-Enrique Jansen for Ward 43 (Strandfontein, parts of Philippi), Joan Woodman for Ward 75 (Colorado Park, Highlands Village, Hyde Park, Morgen’s Village, Philippi, Rondevlei Park, Weltevreden Valley, Westgate, Wildwood, Woodlands), Goawa Timm for Ward 76 (Lentegeur, Ikwezi Park), Eddie Andrews for Ward 78 (Westridge, Westgate, Portland, parts of Beacon Valley and the Mitchell’s Plain CBD), Solomon Philander for Ward 79 (Beacon Valley (south-east of Trampoline, south-west of Lord Street and Oval Street, north-west of Imperial Street and north-ease of AZ Berman Drive), Eastridge, south-east of Imperial Street, south-west of Don Carlos Street and Alpine Road, north-west of Spine Road and north-east of Yellowwood Road, the Mitchell’s Plain CBD), Daniel Christians for Ward 81 (Rocklands), Sheval Arendse for Ward 82 (Tafelsig), Sisa Nombila for Ward 88 (New Woodlands, Lentegeur, south of the R300, west of AZ Berman Drive, north of Highlands Drive, east of Railway line), Heinz Park, Philippi, Philippi Park, Sorya Rigby for Ward 99 (Eastridge, west of Don Carlos, Alpine) and Michael Pat Pietersen for Ward 116 (Montrose Park, MontClaire, Mandalay and parts of Beacon Valley). A look back at the 2011 local government election results show that the DA beat its nearest opponents, the ANC, convincingly.

Ward 43: DA 9 799 ward votes and 9 996 proportional votes; ANC 829 ward votes, 842 proportional votes

Ward 75: DA 5 345 ward votes and 5 456 proportional votes; ANC 3 444 ward votes and 3 588 proportional votes

Ward 76: DA 5 670 ward votes and 7 534 proportional votes; ANC 1 752 ward votes and 2 108 proportional votes

Ward 78: DA 10 070 ward votes, 9 437 proportional votes; ANC 696 ward votes and 765 proportional votes

Ward 79: DA 7 190 ward votes, 7 344 proportional votes; ANC 607 ward votes and 649 proportional votes

Ward 81: DA 8 481 ward votes and 8 498 proportional votes; ANC 573 ward votes and 616 proportional votes

Ward 82: DA 7 344 ward votes and 7 462 proportional votes; ANC 672 ward votes and 746 proportional votes

Ward 88: DA 3 710 ward votes and 3 778 proportional votes; ANC 3 887 ward votes and 5 432 proportional votes

Ward 99: DA 5 533 ward votes and 5 954 proportional votes; ANC 2 858 ward votes and 2 911 proportional votes.