The Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (Daso) at the University of Cape Town has defeated a coalition of ANC-aligned organisations for the first time in nine years.
And it has won a resounding majority of seats on the Student Representative Council (SRC).
"The DA Students' Organisation will play an important role in demonstrating the difference that the principles of the 'open-opportunity society] bring to governance," DA leader Helen Zille said yesterday.
"In doing so, the Daso is playing a significant role in the realignment of politics, both in the Western Cape and nationally. Students are at last resuming their place in the forefront of South Africa's political developments."
Zille said the tide was turning against the ANC on campuses and throughout the land.
"The DA has become their only alternative."
The Progressive Students Alliance, a coalition of ANC and SACP-aligned organisations, agreed to work together, but it tasted its first defeat and has only five seats on the 15-seat SRC.
Already the seven successful Daso members and three independents on the SRC have agreed to form a strong DA-aligned majority and will nominate the new campus executive.
Zille said Daso's victory reflected the exponential growth of party support on the campus. The Daso has doubled its representation on the SRC every year since 2005, when it secured only one seat on the 15-seat council.