eThekwini, eNdumeni, Nqutu, uPhongolo and uMhlathuze are the five KwaZulu-Natal municipalities holding by-elections. File Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA
eThekwini, eNdumeni, Nqutu, uPhongolo and uMhlathuze are the five KwaZulu-Natal municipalities holding by-elections. File Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Will the ANC and IFP defend their wards in this by-election?

By Staff Reporter Time of article published May 18, 2021

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GCWALISILE KHANYILE

DURBAN - VOTER trends will be clearly reflected in Wednesday’s municipal by-elections, as political parties battle it out.

eThekwini, eNdumeni, Nqutu, uPhongolo and uMhlathuze are the five KwaZulu-Natal municipalities holding by-elections.

Mdu Ncalane of uMhlathuze Municipality said three wards – 15, 22 (Esikhawini area) and 30 (Dlangezwa and Vulindlela) would be contested by the ANC after the deaths of three of the party’s ward councillors – Sikhumbuzo Zuma, from ward 15, Hamilton Ncanana, from ward 22, and Muzi Mpungose from ward 30.

Lucky Khumalo of the ANC in eNdumeni was confident about the party retaining control of ward 2, which covers Dundee.

Ward 2 has two voting stations – Dundee Junior and Dundee July (the horse racing venue in Dundee).

“We did a lot of door-to-door campaigns, and we did a lot of service delivery in that ward,” Khumalo said.

The ward was DA-controlled in 2011, and the ANC won it in 2016.

Nqutu’s ward 11 is being contested because the IFP fired its councillor, Mabilabila Kunene, who was also the mayor.

Another political party, the ABC, has capitalised on this opportunity. Joe Motloung, the chief whip of the ANC caucus in Nqutu, said: “Fired IFP mayor Kunene is the ABC candidate for the same ward he led prior to his axing.”

Ward 11 covers Thulasizwe, Gubazi, Mfongomfongo, Vulamehlo, Mtshongweni, Batshe, Ntanyandlovu and Nkalankala areas, and has seven voting stations.

The IFP chairperson in Nqutu, Mandla Ngobese, said his party would retain the ward.

“People trust the IFP, and we deliver services to the people. The fact that our former mayor is now a candidate for another party in the same ward he led does not bother us,” Ngobese said.

He added that the people of Nqutu were voting for the IFP, not an individual.

In eThekwini ward 110 – which covers Mount Moriah, Sunningdale and Glen Anil – a position became available when DA councillor Pete Graham resigned. The DA won ward 110 in 2016.

The ANC’s Bheki Ntuli said he was confident the ANC would win the ward.

Asked why the party lost in 2016, he said it was “due to disagreements that they had with candidates”.

“The emergence of independent candidates took a number of votes from us, but all that has been resolved now,” Ntuli said.

The DA’s provincial chairperson, Dean Macpherson, said he was confident they would retain the ward. “We have been working very hard on the ground, and we will continue until the very last minute,” Macpherson said.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) spokesperson, Thabani Ngwira, said all systems were in place for Wednesday’s by-elections.

He said they would be held under strict new Covid-19 protocols aimed at ensuring the safety of voters, election staff, party agents, observers and other stakeholders.

Ngwira said strict social distancing practices outside and inside voting stations would be implemented, along with the use of hand sanitisers as voters entered and exited the stations.

“Voters, election staff and all those entering the voting stations will be required to wear a mask at all times,” Ngwira said.

He encouraged voters to bring their own pens to mark their ballot papers, although pens would be provided and sanitised after each use.

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