The Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Commission met provincial political parties in Bishopscourt yesterday. Photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
The Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Commission met provincial political parties in Bishopscourt yesterday. Photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

DA, City of Cape Town under fire from political parties in election posters dispute

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Oct 7, 2021

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Cape Town – Political parties have butted heads in front of religious leaders over the placement of election posters, with accusations flying to and fro.

The DA has been forced to defend itself over the placement of election posters in Cape Town and elsewhere in the province after the EFF and the ACDP used the breakfast meeting between political leaders and religious and civil society to bring up the issue.

The parties also accused the City of siding with the DA on the issue of election posters in the City of Cape town.

The debate over election posters was ignited by EFF provincial deputy chairperson Nosipho Makamba-Botya.

The meeting of the provincial parties liaison committee (PPLC) was called by the Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Commission (ECCOC), which monitors the fairness of elections and was chaired by head of the Parliamentary Liaison Office of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference Peter John Pearson as ECCOC chairperson Archbishop Thabo Makgoba was unable to attend.

Makamba-Botya had asked the ECCOC what their role in the elections was and wanted to find out if they might intervene in an incident where the DA-led City accused the EFF of breaking the by-laws and election regulations by putting up banners on street lights, instead of posters.

Grant Twigg said the DA was happy to speak directly to other parties to resolve any issues

“We don’t need somebody else to resolve our issues if we have them. If there is an issue about a pole and a poster, we can speak to one another. We don’t need to have ECCOC, the IEC or anybody coming to assist us.

“While we appreciate ECCOC being there, as it allows us the space to let us know that somebody’s there to assist us, we can also assist ourselves.

“From the DA’s side that’s the invitation we give to any and every party. If there’s an issue let us speak to one another as well,” said Twigg.

However the ACDP’s representative Jonathan Sukers said that while it was all very well for Twigg to say they could talk, the reality was different.

“Down on the ground it’s a hostile environment. The DA continuously treats the space as if they are the ruling party and it’s their space to take.

“We continuously have fights about where these things can be put up. Our boards get taken off all the time.

“I think if there’s a proper line of communications maybe we can get to deal with you directly before we get to any other body, perhaps we can work around that, but I don’t think it will work,” said Sukers.

Person said ECCOC’s role is to provide a platform for dialogue between political parties to resolve election related disputes.

“I think this is a very important discussion. It must be stated clearly that ECCOC is not the police. We’re not the IEC and we haven’t got the people on the ground to monitor each and every situation.

“What we want to say to you all clearly is it does not matter which party you are, we are an apolitical organisation. So if you come to a point where you feel there is injustice or you feel things are going the wrong way then you must know we are here,” said Pearson.

Meanwhile, the City issued a statement in which it urged all political parties to comply with rules for election posters.

“It is very important to note that political parties are allowed only one election poster per party per street light pole and only one additional event poster per party per street light pole posters may only be displayed on street light poles”

The City reminded political parties that posters that contravene the rules must be removed by the political party within 48 hours of being notified to do so.

They said that posters that contravene the rules not removed within the stipulated deadline would be removed by the City at the party’s cost.

The cost to remove posters that are contravening the rules is R128 per poster removed and R186 for any pasted poster removed.

South Africa - Cape Town - 6 October 2021 - The Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Commission (ECCOC), met with provincial political parties today in Bishopscourt. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

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