Photo: IEC

Metro Misery Map: Where did the ANC suffer the most punishment?

The ANC refuses to see failing to secure more than 50 percent of the national vote as a failure. Opposition parties, however, are delighted and feel that the 2021 result shows that the ruling party can be usurped.


Photo: IEC

The 2021 Local Government Elections are now over and the African National Congress (ANC) received 46,04 percent of the national vote. It is the first time the party failed to secure a majority since 1994.


At several news conferences since the results began trickling in after the polls closed on Monday, 1 November, ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jesse Duarte took offence to the perception – held by many, or as she put it, a narrative being propagated by the media – that the ANC has lost.

Duarte said the ANC still had more support than any other political party, which is correct. It is the leading party in eight of the country’s nine provinces – besides the Western Cape, as expected.

However, it garnered fewer than 50 percent of the vote in three provinces and lost the outright majority in another two metro – eThekwini in KZN.

As it stands, only the DA-led City of Cape Town and the ANC-led Buffalo City and Mangaung Municipalities will be led by a single-party government.

At a press conference on Thursday, EFF leader Julius Malema said he was the happiest man in the world because the ruling party has been brought below 50 percent. He described it as one of his main goals when he started the political party.

Despite their disagreements on most things, DA leader John Steenhuisen, echoed Malema’s sentiments on the ANC many times during this election. He too is delighted with the fact that the ANC was not able to secure the majority vote.

Moreover, while the national percentage of the vote had no bearing on the outcome of municipal elections, it does not bode well for the ANC’s future prospects. Steenhuisen, however, was encouraged by the result and said that the 2021 Local Government Elections showed what was possible in 2024 when the nation heads to the polls again for the General Election.

The ANC won 53,91 percent of the total vote in the 2016 Local Government Elections. Three years later in the 2019 General Election it fared better with 57,50 percent. The party will certainly hope that history repeats itself.


The ANC’s support shrunk in all but one of the metros. The three metropolitan municipalities in Gauteng will be led by a coalition government again. Perhaps, this does not come as a surprise because none of the country’s political parties looked likely to secure an outright majority in Johannesburg, Tshwane or Ekurhuleni.

The big surprise was that the ANC lost its majority in eThekwini, another first for the party since it came into power. The metro was perceived as the party’s biggest and most influential region and now it will have to share governance with other political parties in a coalition.


-10,81 ~ City of Ekurhuleni  – 1st – 38,19% (49% in 2016)

-10,9 ~ City of Johannesburg – 1st – 33,60% (44,5% in 2016)

-6,69 ~ City of Tshwane – 1st – 34,31% (41% in 2016 and won less votes than the DA)


-13,98 ~ eThekwini – 1st – 42,02% (56% in 2016)

Eastern Cape

-1,57 ~ Nelson Mandela Bay – 2nd but tied with DA in terms of seats, 48 each – 39,43%  (41% in 2016 and won fewer votes than the DA)

+0,3 ~ Buffalo City – 1st – 59,3% (59% in 2016)

Western Cape

5,37 ~ City of Cape Town – 2nd – 18,63% (24% in 2016)


-6,37% ~ Mangaung – 1st – 50,63% (57% in 2016)