DA retains Ward 102 in by-election

DA ward councillor Rhynhardt Bresler.

The DA held on to Ward 102 in last Wednesday’s by-election but not without hearing the walls shake in what was thought to be a party stronghold.

The ward, which is part of Brackenfell and Kraaifontein, was up for grabs after Carin Brynard quit the DA after falling out with mayor Patricia de Lille in August.

She then contested the ward as a candidate for the secessionist Cape Party. (“It’s back to the polls,” Northern News, November 22).

The DA won the by-election but saw its support drop sharply to 71.27% from the 94.54% it polled in the 2016 local government elections. The turn-out was low: only 3 911 of the ward’s 17 739 registered voters came out on polling day.

But the Cape Party, which ran second on the day, picked up a sizeable chunk of the votes: 731 – more than 60 times the 12 votes it got in the 2016 elections. The Freedom Front Plus took 321 votes. Support for the other contenders was negligible, with 60 votes for the ACDP, six for the EFF and four for the ANC.

The new DA ward councillor, Rhynhardt Bresler, thanked the ward for putting its faith in him, and said he was undeterred by the drop in support.

“I am not really worried about the decrease in numbers because it was by-elections and only 22% of the voters came out to vote.”

He vowed that he would continue to provide a good service to the community as he said he had done as the proportional representation councillor in Ward 111.

“I will be more focused now and can give all my attention to the ward.”

Posting on its Facebook page after the fray, the Cape Party said voters had sent a message to the DA that they were growing tired of the party’s “arrogance and corruption” as well as the policy changes that, it said, had earned the DA the title of “ANC-light”.

The party said Ms Brynard had served the ward for 11 years but had lost the by-election because voters had bought into “the lie” that “if you do not vote for the DA, the ANC will win”.

Responding to the Cape Party’s comments, DA metro regional chairman Grant Twigg said: “Any party can say whatever they want, it doesn’t mean any thing to us.”