Cape Town - The Freedom Front Plus says it is an alternative party and that the attraction of Africans to its ranks should not come as a surprise.
The party’s head of elections, Wouter Wessels, said on Tuesday that not all of their candidates were white and it was “wrong to perceive the Freedom Front Plus as a white party”.
“We are growing, and we are a principled party and not changing policies to get votes,” Wessels said about the party that has opened its doors to other minority groups.
A cursory look at the candidate lists at the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) shows that the party is fielding African candidates in the Western Cape, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, among other provinces.
In the Western Cape, two candidates are vying for the proportional representation and ward contests in the City of Cape Town.
There are also candidates in the Drakenstein District, Mossel Bay and George municipalities.
In Limpopo, the party has African candidates in the Tzaneen, Blouberg, Thabazimbi, Bela-Bela and Fetakgomo Tubatse municipalities.
In Mpumalanga, candidates can be found in the Nkangala Municipality and the Dr JS Moroka District Municipality.
Wessels said one of the problems their African members experienced was the backlash in different communities.
“Our candidates stand strong. They believe and know they are not being used by us,” he said.
“They are part of the party. They identified with policies of the party and have nothing to be ashamed of,” Wessels said.
He also said the actions by African members were sincere and they viewed the Freedom Front Plus as part of a growing alternative.
“We believe that South Africa is a community of communities, and that minority rights are an important part of the Constitution.
“Currently, they (minorities) are neglected and diversity is used for political gain and to polarise society. We believe diversity as an asset should be embraced and there should be unity within diversity,” he said.
Wessels said they have principles, values and policies enshrined in their manifesto that provide solutions.
“We stand for equal opportunities for all. Any person who identifies with those values and policies identifies with us as an alternative,” he said.
“We need people who believe in solutions and we are a solution-driven party,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Freedom Front Plus was targeting significant growth, at least to increase their representation fivefold in the City of Cape Town, where they currently have one councillor.
“Our polling says that is possible,” Wessels said.
He said the fact that the elections were taking place on a Monday (November 1) might deter voters from going to the polls.
“We are working hard to mitigate (this) and get people to realise that their vote is very important to stop the decay and to get service delivery going.”
Wessels said they believed that they had shown that they were a growing alternative and provided solutions.
“We do serve the community and put their interests first.
“We are on the ground also in the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape to spread the message and explain our plan and manifesto,” he added.
He was adamant that they would grow significantly and that a lot of people were viewing them an alternative that should be given a chance.
“We believe there is quite a possibility that there will be no single party to obtain a 50 plus one majority and a coalition will be the best form of government,” said Wessels on the likely election outcome for the city.