News / 11 May 2019, 1:25pm / Tanya Waterworth, Sihle Mlambo and Lee Rondganger
Durban - “A ticking time bomb” and “a day of revolution”.
That was the dire warning about the 2021 local government elections from political analyst Thabani Khumalo on Friday if the new government does not address the lack of basic service delivery.
This as the formal results of the national elections are expected to be announced today.
The ANC has - as polling predicted - won KwaZulu-Natal, taking home just over 54% of the votes in the province.
But despite the win, the party has lost considerable ground in the province, dropping more than 10% as compared to their majority win of 64.52% in the 2014 elections.
The IFP will also be proud of its efforts in KZN as it became the official opposition scoring just over 585 000 votes, unseating the DA as the second biggest party in the province.
Looking at issues which are of concern to KwaZulu-Natal residents, Khumalo said ongoing protests over the provision of water, electricity and waste services should be an urgent priority for the new government, describing municipalities across KZN as “dysfunctional”.
“The ANC is renewing itself. These results are giving them another chance and it will be a good time for Ramaphosa to stamp his authority. Their first priority should be to look at local government municipalities which have proved to be incompetent.
“With all the service delivery protests that have been going on, people don’t have water, people don’t have electricity or waste services. The citizens have expressed themselves over these issues. People are so frustrated.
“With 2021 local government elections coming next, these are urgent issues which have to be addressed or that election day could be revolution day. It’s a ticking time bomb,” said Khumalo.
University of KwaZulu-Natal political analyst Lukhona Mnguni described the provincial election results, with the ANC losing about 10% against the gains by the IFP and EFF, as “significant”.
“These shifts over the last few elections show that KZN voters are not married to a particular party,” said Mnguni, adding that the service delivery protests of the past few months indicate “people are starting to feel that service delivery is not happening at an adequate level and adequate pace. People have communicated this by the ballot this time”.
He said the “remarkable” growth in votes for IFP and EFF “has communicated people’s dissatisfaction with politicians, and it’s quite audible. The 2021 local government elections are going to be very interesting”.
On Friday, at the IEC Centre in Mayville, ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said they were “excited and energised” with the election results and that basic service delivery would be a key priority.
He said in eThekwini, water and waste were of major concern, while Pietermaritzburg “was not in a condition to provide services”.
“These issues need to be confronted and resolved. We take seriously what people are unhappy about,” said Ntuli.
Meanwhile, IFP secretary-general Velenkosini Hlabisa said they were “satisfied with the considerable percentage increase” during this election.
“We have been aware that KZN people have been protesting about delivery of basic services. We are going to play a critical role in raising these issues continuously and putting pressure on government to resolve these issues,” said Hlabisa.
DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said the ANC had “lost focus” in the provision of basic services.
He said the DA planned to save eThekwini Municipality from collapse.
“The campaign is going to start very soon,” he said, adding that the party would “continue to play its watchdog role, while the ANC continues to steal public funds”.
The EFF, which enjoyed a significant increase in votes compared with the 2014 election, said the biggest challenges facing South Africa were unemployment and land.
“The biggest problem our people are faced with is landlessness, which leads to joblessness and which leads to homelessness,” said EFF provincial chairperson Vusi Khoza.