Tsh­wane po­lit­i­cal par­ties gear­ing up to fight in fresh elec­tions

Pretoria News - - METRO - SIVIWE FEKETHA

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.

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