FILE: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)
FILE: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)

Election campaigns move to the fast lane as parties shift into higher gear

By Samkelo Mtshali, Ntombi Nkosi, Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Sep 23, 2021

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THE IFP announced yesterday that it would be fielding a total of 2 570 candidates in the 105 municipalities, in which it will be contesting the upcoming local government elections, while the party will not be fielding any independent candidates.

In a media briefing held at the party’s headquarters in Durban, IFP national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said that of the 2 570 candidates, 1 376 were ward councillors, while 1 192 were proportional representation (PR) candidates.

Hlengwa said that the party respectfully disagreed with the recent Constitutional Court judgment, regarding the reopening of the candidate nomination process.

Hlengwa said that the ConCourt's view – that extending the candidate cut-off date is consistent with the legislative scheme, and would enhance the freeness and fairness of elections – was not the correct one.

“The IFP feels this judgment is regrettable, but will abide by the court's decision. We will also closely monitor the elections, to ensure that they are, in fact, free and fair.

“We would also like to raise the question of election-related violence. There have already been media reports of scuffles between supporters of various political parties, which are of great concern. The IFP would like to call for calm, and for all South Africans to respect their fellow citizens' constitutional right to vote, and to participate in the activities of a political party of their choosing,” Hlengwa said.

Meanwhile, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said that his party was the solution if citizens wanted to wage a war against corruption, adding that they were focused on bringing hope to fix South Africa.

Speaking at the party’s manifesto launch in Johannesburg yesterday, Mashaba said his message to the people is that hope was not lost and that they were adequately prepared to fix South Africa.

“Do you want a war waged against corruption? Do you want mayors who work night and day to make sure your businesses thrive, and jobs are growing? Do you want electricity, water, and roads delivered where residents never had the dignity of these services? Then this is your team,” said Mashaba.

He added that in order to fix the country, it was important to start at home, by fixing the country’s local governments, while he also lamented the high crime rate faced by South Africans.

Speaking at his party’s manifesto launch in Durban, leader of the African Democratic Change (ADeC) and mayoral candidate for the eThekwini Municipality, Visvin Reddy, said on Wednesday that if the party won the elections, it would bring in jobs, safer communities, and an efficient utility billing system for Durban residents.

He said his return to the political arena was because politicians “have simply failed their people”, referencing the meagre monthly grant given to pensioners, and the failure of the current water and electricity billing system in eThekwini.

The former ANC and DA member, who was assigned as the national leader of ADeC just over two years ago, said he was encouraged by the level of support the party has been getting.

“We are not a racial political movement, we are a political party that seeks change for everybody. And the past few episodes that we experienced have taught us that the people we elect must be of sound mind.

“So, in Durban, the first thing we are going to do is to stop these illegal connections. Illegal connections must be a thing of the past in Durban. The next thing Durban needs is R8 billion to repair the ageing infrastructure, like water pipes. Our people are inconvenienced with these water cuts,” Reddy said.

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