Make your mark

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

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.

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