Johannesburg - Millions of people in Gauteng are expected to visit polling stations in the province to cast their votes for political parties and independent candidates who have registered to contest the municipal elections today.
Political parties in Gauteng have readied themselves to battle it out at various polling stations in their bid to woo the electorate to cast votes for their respective parties.
One of Gauteng’s smallest municipalities, Emfuleni Local Municipality in Vereeniging in the Vaal, looks set to be one of the most contested terrains.
The ANC, EFF, DA, FF Plus, PAC, UDM and Cope are among the parties contesting that municipality, but it is the New Horizon Movement of Pastor Vincent Jones – a newcomer in the electoral field – which promises to take over control of the municipality.
Others such as Rand West Local Municipality in Randfontein and Westonaria, including the West Rand District Municipality in Randfontein and Mogale City Local Municipality in Krugersdorp, were likely to be retained by the ANC albeit in a reduced majority.
It is, however, the three Gauteng metros of Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni which would become the focal point as most of the political parties have registered in the respective metros.
None of the incumbent parties in these metros have majority control and are dependent on coalition partners to run the affairs of the metros.
The situation is likely to change as most of the parties contesting these elections have vowed that they were bidding for majority votes.
One of the proponents was President Cyril Ramaphosa who indicated throughout his election campaign that his party was looking for a majority vote in the three metros of Gauteng including the smaller municipalities.
EFF leader Julius Malema has expressed the same sentiments and ruled out the possibility of coalition partners.
Joburg’s DA mayoral candidate Mpho Phalatse and her party leader John Steenhuisen have ruled out the possibility of a coalition government with the EFF and ActionSA.
In Ekurhuleni, Mayor Mzwandile Masina of the ANC faces a difficult task to retain his coalition partner – the African Independent Congress (AIC) – as the ANC has failed to to deliver on the coalition agreement to return the town of Matatiele to KwaZulu-Natal.
In Tshwane, DA Mayor Randall Williams who also wants a majority to retain control of the municipality, will have to rely on his coalition partners to retain his party’s control of the municipality.
As thousands of people are due to cast their votes today, Parliament’s presiding officers, led by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Amos Masondo, called on all South Africans registered for the upcoming local government elections to go to the polls to cast their votes.
More than 23 000 voting stations will be open for voting today from 7am until 9pm.
The presiding officers commended South African citizens for their continued interest and participation in the process of deciding who should govern them.
More people, particularly the youth, have demonstrated great enthusiasm for participating in the coming elections.
“It is your basic responsibility under the Constitution to participate and determine how you are governed and ensure quality service delivery,” the presiding officers said.
These services include the delivery of water, electricity, houses and healthcare.
“The local government elections present us with an opportunity to elect leaders who will represent the people in the local sphere of government for the next five years.
“By participating in these elections, we will be choosing people to lead in the provision of crucial basic services. We need to always claim our constitutional right to determine and influence how we are governed and to hold accountable those we elect,” the officers said.
The Presiding Officers called on South Africans to co-operate with Electoral Commission of South Africa officials at voting stations to ensure safety during the election process and, above all, to ensure that the elections are free and fair.
Registered voters are reminded to ensure they bring along smart ID cards, green barcoded IDs or valid temporary certificates to the voting stations.
Past mayors of Joburg
The City of Joburg has had seven mayors since the dawn of democracy. They are:
♦ Isaac Mogase (1995-2000, deceased)
♦ Amos Masondo (2000-2006)
♦ Amos Masondo (2006-2011)
♦ Parks Tau (2011-2016)
♦ Herman Mashaba (2016-2018)
♦ Geoff Makhubo (2018-2021, deceased)
♦ Jolidee Matongo (2021, deceased)
♦ Mpho Moerane (2021, current)