Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

George - The southern Cape region is set to be one of the most hotly contested areas in the May 8 elections, with perennial heavyweights the African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) slugging it out for bragging rights in towns along the picturesque coast. 

However, even small parties have set their sights on the southern Cape, with the African lndependent Congress (AIC) this week vowing to weaken the ANC as it seeks to grow the party across the colourline in the region.

The AlC is a minor political party with only three seats in the national assembly. The AIC was formed in Matatiele in the Eastern Cape in December 2005 as a protest against the location of the area within the boundaries of the Eastern Cape rather than KwaZulu-Natal.

According to the party's national spokesperson Themba Mhlongo the AIC is not focusing only on mobilising people from the Eastern Cape now living in the southern Cape, but the Coloured community as well which the party says have also been marginalised under ANC rule.

Mhlongo said: "The AIC has made some inroads in areas predominantly occupied by the ANC in the Southern Cape.

"Because the party was formed in the Eastern Cape we are not focusing on mobilising people from the Matatiele or other parts of the Eastern Cape, but Coloured communities because they have been marginalised by the ANC-led administration.

"People are no longer trusting the ANC and the Democratic Party's (sic) promises, they want to see real action and change."

"The party is growing fast and we really going to the ballot box with confidence" said Mhlongo.

But ANC provincial spokesperson Dennis Cruywagen said that his party had campaigned hard in the coastal region, especially among the youth.

Cruywagen said: "We have been focusing on all sectors of the population. We do not take any voter for granted and are constantly out there to put our case as to why people, including the youth, should vote for us.


"The message of the new dawn is resonating with voters. Only election results will show if what other parties are saying are true or just pre election bluster," he added.

African News Agency/ANA