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ANC safely retains Ekurhuleni metro

Naledi Mailula

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality in Gauteng, regarded as the transport hub of the country, was an important focus in the 2016 local government elections. The ANC retained its control over this metro with a 48.64% lead of the votes and 109 seats, the DA with 34.15% and 77 seats, and the EFF with 11.23% and 25 seats. 

Ekurhuleni is one of Gauteng’s three metropolitan cities and in the run-up to the elections was touted as possibly being one of the ANC’s big losses.

The metro has been run by the ANC, although the party’s voter support has plummeted in the last few years.

As the vote counting continues, the African National Congress (ANC)  retained a safe lead over the metro.

The region holds a lot of heritage for the party, with stalwarts, Oliver Tambo and his wife, Adelaide buried there.

The Ekurhuleni municipality is highly urbanised, with 99.4% of the population living in urban settlements ranging from informal settlements to elite urban residential suburbs.

 A number of large urbanised townships, such as Katlehong and Tokoza, also occupy the landscape.

According to media reports, as the EFF embarked on its campaigning trail in Ekurhuleni, it told prospective voters that the area had the highest number of informal settlement and large hectares of free land. The party reportedly accused the ANC of failing to provide land.

COE

According to Census 2011, the municipality has a total population of just under 3,2 million, 78,7% of whom are black African. Whites make up 15,8%, and other race groups comprise the remaining 5,5%.

The main languages spoken in Ekhurhuleni are isiZulu (28.6%), English (11.9%), Afrikaans (11.8%) and Sepedi (11.3%). The gender ratio in Ekhurhuleni is 51.2% male and 48.8% female.

Between 2001 and 2011, Ekhurhuleni experienced a population growth rate of 2.47%. By 2011, the number of households in Ekhurhuleni numbered 1 015 464, with an average household size of 2.9 persons.

At present, the city has an unemployment rate of 28.8% and a youth unemployment rate of 36.9%.

Meanwhile, the Ekurhuleni municipality has become a thriving ground for illegal miners in abandoned gold mines. 

Numerous deaths of illegal miners have been reported in the last few years.

Census 2011 data reveals also that 77.4% of Ekhurhuleni population live in ‘formal dwellings’; 85% were connected to a flush sewerage system; 88.4% has their refuse removed on a weekly basis; 57.2% had access to piped water inside their dwelling and 82.2% used electricity for lighting.

The incumbent mayor of Ekurhuleni is Mondli Gungubele.

As at 31 May 2016, the metro boasted a registered voter population of 1 587 116.

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