Profile: Al-Jama-ah party leader aims high for Mother City top post
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Cape Town - The sole MP of the Al-Jama-ah party , Ganief Hendricks is the party’s mayoral candidate in the City of Cape Town.
In an interview with Independent Media on Wednesday, Hendricks said he was contesting ward 53 in his Pinelands suburb.
“I am looking forward to our party winning enough seats to have a balance of power so that I can use that to obtain the mayoral chain.
“We are very much interested in the mayoral chain,” he said.
Hendricks was confident of clinching the mayoral post saying many parties, including the ANC, were confident in his leadership.
It was recently reported that Al-Jama-ah was approached by the ANC to field its candidates when the governing party initially did not submit candidate lists in all municipalities.
Hendricks confirmed to Independent Media that he was called by ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte and President Cyril Ramaphosa asking that the governing party contest under Al-Jama-ah banner and his party keep the PR votes.
He revealed that his party made a similar arrangement with the National Freedom Party (NFP) in 2016 when it did not pay the deposit to contest the elections and as a consequence NFP was controlling two seats in Escourt municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.
In the 2016 local government elections, Al-Jama-ah obtained two seats in the City of Cape Town, and one in the 2011 election.
Now, the party is aiming to grab more seats this time around.
Hendricks, who was a councillor since 2011, said they wanted to change the City of Cape Town from being the “Stepmother City” to most people.
“It is a Mother City for whites. We want it to be a Mother City to other communities as well other than being exclusively for whites,” he said, adding that the city under the DA was neglecting most of its residents.
Hendricks believes that the way to end what he termed as “Stepmother City” was to ensure a “balance of power” in the newly-constituted council.
“We don’t want to form a coalition.
“We want to form a co-government like in the City of Joburg.
“In co-government we can a right to criticize,” he said.
“I don’t want anything less. I have a track record,” said Hendricks who has been a councillor in 2011 until 2019 before becoming an MP.
According to Hendricks, Al-Jama-ah, which has a councillor in the mayoral committee of the City of Joburg after it won a ward from the DA in Laudium, has set standards in municipal governance there.
He said they were targeting not less than 40 seats and were certain to win in 30 wards.
They are also eyeing all nine wards in Mitchells Plain and hope to run some sub-councils.
Hendricks said their candidates were on the ground canvassing the votes.
“These are people who are from the communities.
“They have served and done good for their communities.”
The party, he said, has a 24-hour online radio station that broadcasts to the different wards with each ward candidate having a slot.
“This is a new form of messaging.
“We address a particular area and they speak to us directly.”
Apart from contesting the City of Cape Town, Al-Jama-ah is fielding about 1 200 candidates in 31 municipalities out of seven provinces.
It is also contesting all the metros, and hopes to increase seats particularly in the Nelson Mandela Metro and City of Joburg.
“We are going to get five councillor seats in those two metros,” he said referring to their number crunching they have done in all the metros.
Asked about how the small party was funding its election campaign, Hendricks said they were using the Electoral Commission (IEC) funding allocated quarterly.
“We saved that money.
“We have enough to put up a good fight,” he said, adding that there was also funding from the foundation of a mining company that donates to small parties.