ANC banking on eThekwini votes

A child hugged president Cyril Ramaphosa while other supporters reached out to shake his hand during his campaign trail in Isipingo, Durban South. | KHAYA NGWENYA/ Independent Newspapers

A child hugged president Cyril Ramaphosa while other supporters reached out to shake his hand during his campaign trail in Isipingo, Durban South. | KHAYA NGWENYA/ Independent Newspapers

Published May 20, 2024


Durban — The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is banking on eThekwini votes to deliver back the province.

This was revealed to the Daily News by regional election co-ordinator Mthandeni Dlungwana, who accompanied President Cyril Ramaphosa on an election blitz in Isipingo CBD on Sunday.

Dlungwana, a former Education MEC, said out of 1.9 million registered voters in eThekwini alone, the party was adamant that getting at least 1 million would help it retain power in the province.

Out of 110 wards in eThekwini, the ANC controls a sizeable number and combined with PR councillors it currently has 96 seats in the municipality.

In total, the province has more than 5 million voters and eThekwini has been the party’s stronghold.

The party said it was also confident of collecting a big chunk of votes in Moses Mabhida (Pietermaritzburg), Harry Gwala (Ixopo), and Lower South Coast (Port Shepstone) which are its strongest support areas.

Wrapping up his KwaZulu-Natal election tour with a mini-rally in Isipingo, Ramaphosa announced that the government has set aside R15 billion to train unemployed youth in skills development.

He added that they would receive stipends while still training. The president also promised that the ANC would hold its victory rally in the province after the elections, and said he was confident that the party would win convincingly.

He said he was confident that the ANC would retain the province despite many parties claiming to have enough numbers to take the province from the ANC’s hands.

Ramaphosa has been in the province since Friday. He campaigned in areas under the Ilembe district, including KwaDukuza and Mandeni on the north coast of Durban.

On Saturday, he moved to Inkosi Bhambatha region, particularly in Greytown central business district where he interacted with shoppers. Before his closing rally in Isipingo, the president had visited ward 100 in uMbumbulu where he held a meeting with amakhosi and other traditional leaders.

In the 2019 elections, the ANC won the province with 54% which gave the party 44 seats followed far behind by the IFP with 13 seats, while the DA came third with 11 seats. The EFF came fourth with eight seats.

ANC supporters danced during president Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign trail at iSipingo Taxi Rank, Durban south. Photographer: Khaya Ngwenya/ Independent Newspapers

The IFP exuded confidence after staging a successful rally at King Zwelithini Stadium in uMlazi, an ANC stronghold in eThekwini.

Thousands of IFP supporters braved the blazing sun and filled up the 15 000-seater stadium during the party’s eThekwini Mega Rally addressed by its premier candidate, Thami Ntuli.

Ntuli is also the chairperson of the IFP in KZN and the mayor of the King Cetshwayo District Municipality.

He unveiled his plans to “rebuild and transform” the coastal province if the IFP dislodged the ANC from the provincial government at the elections.

“People of eThekwini and KwaZulu-Natal, please give us a chance to change your lives,” said Ntuli.

He lambasted the ANC government, saying it was failing to create jobs for young people. The province was in ruins and its reputation in tatters, said Ntuli.

“It is time for us to stand and fix the damage that has been caused by the ANC government since 1994,” Ntuli said.

“We have given the ANC enough time now. They have been governing for 30 years but what have we got in return? We have been getting poorer.”

IFP’s premier candidate Thami Ntuli addressed the party’s supporters during a rally at King Zwelithini Stadium in uMlazi, which is an ANC stronghold in eThekwini. Picture: Lungani Zungu

The 49-year-old IFP – or Three Elephants as the party is nicknamed – was fighting to win back the province that it lost to the ANC in 2004.

Ntuli said that it was the dream of late party founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi for him to be the party’s premier candidate for KZN.

He added that the IFP government would swiftly disband the council of eThekwini Municipality if it was elected to power.

“The city is riddled with corruption. And the first thing we’ll do if we are elected will be to disband the council and elect a new leadership of the municipality,” said Ntuli.

Turning to the burning issue of illegal foreigners, Ntuli said: “We will make sure that we eject foreign nationals if we take power and make sure that we prioritise local.”

The IFP government would eradicate gravel roads and potholes across the province, he said.

“We will also create jobs for the people of this province by training people in relevant skills that will make them self-sufficient.”

The IFP would also revive the Ithala Bank, formed in 1958 by the then KwaZulu government, he said, and promised the IFP government would nurse the ailing public health system back to health.

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