Make your mark
THIS weekend will see the final salvos in the battle by a host of political parties, large and small, to win voters’ support at the polls on Wednesday. The spotlight is focused on the metros of Nelson Mandela Bay, Johannesburg and Tshwane, where what was once unthinkable has been happening, with the DA electioneering to win support from what has been the ANC’s traditional base – black voters. Also in the limelight is Julius Malema’s EFF, which will have to prove its mettle at local gov- ernment level. But as a columnist argues on our opinion page, these elections were not meant to be about Jacob Zuma, Mmusi Maimane or Malema, nor for that matter about Nelson Mandela and who has the right to claim his legacy. They should centre on the issues closest to ordinary people and how well local authorities are delivering services, be they refuse collection, water, electricity, municipal clinics, libraries, transport, or housing and infrastructure. Of course the policies and track-records of the parties and candidates matter, but it may well be that a candidate from a small party, or an independ- ent, has earned him or herself support in the ward where you live and will best represent your inter- ests. Or it may be that a large party has governed another town in an exemplary manner and you would like to see this emulated in your city or town. What is important is that this is your chance to use your hard-won vote in order to help create the kind of community you want for yourself and those you care about. This weekend the Independ- ent Electoral Commission will move voting materi- als, including ballot boxes and voting booths, from provincial warehouses to municipalities, for distri- bution to 22 612 voting stations, its biggest logistical operation to date. There are a record 73.9 million ballot papers. Join your fellow South Africans and take the time to make your cross on the ballot paper.