Tshwane political parties gearing up to fight in fresh elections
THE BATTLE for the control of the City of Tshwane has been set in motion as key political parties kick off their campaigns for the impending fresh by-elections.
This comes after the decision by Premier David Makhura to dissolve the metro’s council last week following a protracted battle by the ANC and the EFF to oust the DA from power, leading to a consecutive collapse of sittings since last year.
The dissolution decision was still awaiting approval from Co-operative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and the National Council of Provinces.
Makhura and his entire provincial executive council visited regions in Tshwane yesterday to explain his decision to residents and its implications for governance in the capital city.
Since the 2016 local government elections, Tshwane has been under the DA-led coalition which was formed with the assistance of the EFF.
Should the national government and National Council of Provinces approve the dissolution, political parties will have 90 days to campaign for fresh elections while an administrator appointed by the provincial government will run the affairs of the metro.
ANC Tshwane chairperson and caucus leader Kgosi Maepa said the party had already hit the ground running for the by-elections immediately after Makhura’s announcement of the council dissolution.
“We have already started since last week to inform our structures. We are on the ground now working with them,” Maepa said.
The party was not bothered by the bruising electoral loss it suffered in 2016 which saw it being dislodged by the DA and other smaller parties, as ANC support improved around Tshwane in the general elections last year, he said.
Of the 1.1 million registered voters who voted in Tshwane, more than 500 000 of them voted for the ANC which was an electoral improvement from the 41.66% it secured in 2016.
“The ANC got almost half of the people who voted in Tshwane in 2019 from the 41% we got in 2016… that means this time we will do even much better.
“The DA got 25% last year,” Maepa said.
EFF caucus leader Oliver Mabongwana said all systems were in place for the campaign of the red berets, adding that the party was expecting to make serious inroads into the ANC’s traditional support base.
“We are more than ready to go for a by-election. Actually we were the first ones to welcome the decision to dissolve the council because we believe there is no leadership in Tshwane. We are going for victory when we go to the elections because we are the only hope now,” Mabongwana said.
He said both the ANC and the DA had failed the people of Tshwane after being given chances to govern.
“Both parties have not done justice for the people of Tshwane and the people can see it.
“The ANC has been running the municipality for 15 years and failed to run it well and deliver for our people and the DA is failing to do so now.
“We are close to our people and we are confident about this by-election,” he said.
The DA, meanwhile, has vowed to take Makhura to court should he go ahead with his decision.