Cape Town - Political parties in the Western Cape are gearing-up to climb into the political ring this weekend and slug it out for the attention of the electorate as the campaign trail hits fever pitch.
The ANC is recovering from a bloodied nose after a by-election defeat in Hessequa, a ward it held before, but it is not ready to give up the fight just yet, and is rolling out the heavyweights this weekend.
The parties will be engaging in a host of debates in a last-ditch effort to win over the voters.
Today political parties will be in SiteC’s White Hall in Khayelitsha to take part in an election manifesto debate, and tomorrow a debate arranged by the Right 2 Know moves to Ocean View Senior Secondary. On Sunday night Ferlon Christians, the African Christian Democratic Party premier candidate, along with Ebrahim Rasool, the ANC head of elections, Alan Winde the DA’s premier candidate, and Brett Herron from the GOOD party, will square off at the Great Cape Debate in the Century City Conference centre.
The Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies has partnered with eNCA to broadcast the pre-election debate. The politicians will debate and reply to questions on how they plan to fix the community safety problem, as well as education, facing the province, what steps they would implement to ensure the integrity of the government and their views on land expropriation without compensation.
All political parties have already hit the ground running launching campaigns, going door-to-door to canvass votes and revealing their manifestos. Political analyst professor Ralph Mathekga said that with less than a month to go before election day, political party campaigns would be intensifying.
“During this period communities will get the opportunity to raise their concerns to political leaders.
“This is also a very important time because of the tensions in townships and rural towns.
“The election campaign period also comes at a time when communities became aware of the corruption,” Mathekga said.
Good Party leader Patricia de Lille acknowledged it was crunch time for all political parties and with 26 days to go said she was to schedule the couple of places she still needs to visit.
“I’ve been to all provinces. In the next couple of weeks we will intensify our campaign and will be involved in TV and radio interviews,” De Lille said.
Meanwhile, ACDP premier candidate Christians pointed out that volunteers played a significant role during the election campaign, to help bring across the party’s message to voters.
“Thousands of volunteers are working on the ground. Our visibility has also helped to inform voters about our party.
“We are going to work around the clock to make sure that our message reaches voters,” Christians said.
ANC Western Cape spokesperson Dennis Cruywagen said the party was going to step up its election campaign over the next couple of weeks.
“ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule will be in Cape Town over the weekend to be part of our election campaign.
“Another visit is also expected by President Cyril Ramaphosa,” he said.
Following the DA’s victory in three by-elections in George, Stellenbosch and Hessequa earlier this week, the DA’s provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said it was clear the party was growing in the Western Cape.
“The DA over the next 26 days till election day, will go door to door,” the DA’s Dirk Linde said.