Battle for 2016 polls starts

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AP

A South African Air Force aerobatics team flies over the Union Buildings in Pretoria during 20th anniversary celebrations. Picture: AP

Pretoria - With the national elections barely done and dusted, political parties are already gearing up for the 2016 local government elections, with the DA hoping to take over the City of Tshwane.

The ANC saw a massive decline in votes in the capital, but the results allowed the party to hold on to the municipality.

And now, the DA is eyeing taking over the largest metropolitan municipality in the local government elections in two years’ time.

In the 2009 elections, the ANC registered 59.95 percent of the votes in the municipality - but this time the figure declined to 50.96 percent.

The DA registered a significant improvement - 31.32 percent - from 25.06 percent in 2009.

DA chief whip in the city Ma-rietha Aucamp said: “In the past two years service delivery in the city has deteriorated.

“People are looking for something better. They want someone who can deliver better services.

“I’m sure we will take over the city in the 2016 local elections. We have a good base to work on and we just have to continue working hard.

“The DA has proved itself very well in the running of Midvaal and the Western Cape. We can do a great job in Tshwane.”

Newcomer, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has a huge following among the city’s young people who constitute most of the 32 percent of the capital’s unemployed. It scored 11.41%.

But ANC spokesman Nkenke Kekana said the ruling party was confident of holding on to the municipality. “We will have a meeting today to analyse all the results and how they can help us plan for the 2016 local elections.

“The Tshwane of today is radically different from the one in 2009. Then Metsweding was not part of the municipality. The results will help us plan for a bigger Tshwane.”

Bronkhorstspruit, Rethabiseng and Zithobeni used to fall under the Metsweding municipality and had been integrated into the City of Tshwane. The residents have embarked on violent protests, demanding better service.

The ANC thanked Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal for each contributing about 2.5 million votes out of the 11.4 million ANC won nationally.

“The ANC does not take any vote for granted. This was not an easy campaign; Gauteng was a coveted prize for all parties. We are pleased to maintain a clear majority in Gauteng, the fourth largest economy in Africa.

“We intend to tackle all the issues that dominated the feedback we received from voters during our campaign,” the party said.

On Saturday, EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema accused the ANC of using “mafia tactics” to win Gauteng, but said he accepted the outcome of the polls.

“We love this country so we will accept the results because we don’t want this country to go into a civil war. For the sake of peace we are ready to close that chapter.

“The ANC is not doing well. They are putting on a brave face but inside it is a big war. They won the elections but they have declined.”

Malema said that for the 2016 local polls there would not be an ANC mayor in the big Gauteng metros - Joburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.

Malema also said the EFF still planned to move Parliament to Pretoria from Cape Town.

Meanwhile, last week’s national and provincial elections have been mired in controversy over irregularities.

Ballot papers were found dumped in Lynnwood, east of Pretoria, and in the city centre.

In Eldoraigne, the DA asked for a recount after the party picked up a discrepancy in the results.

“From what we had counted, it shows the DA had 4 800 votes and the ANC about 300 but when the results went to the national centre, the DA was recorded with only 3 600 votes. The matter was sorted out quickly and the results were adjusted properly,” Aucamp said.

The Freedom Front Plus - one of the four parties that had shown national growth in this year’s elections - did not do so well locally.

The party grew from 0.83 percent to 0.90 percent nationwide but dropped from 3.78 percent in 2009 to 2.52 percent in the Tshwane municipality. Party leader Pieter Mulder said it was hard to compete with bigger parties that had a lot of funds. “I thank the old and new FF Plus voters for their support.

“The FF Plus remains supported despite an intensive DA propaganda campaign with radio ads and flyers aimed at FF Plus supporters. Due to financial inequities in the South African election, with bigger parties getting state funding, it is very difficult for smaller parties to compete favourably,” he said.

Pretoria News


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