Door-to-door campaigns thing of past for Tshwane electioneering
Pretoria - Political parties in Tshwane are mulling over new electioneering strategies to replace door-to-door campaigns during the upcoming by-elections, to minimise the risk of contracting Covid-19.
This emerged during a Pretoria News interview with some political party regional leaders, who hinted that traditional door-to-door campaigns may soon be a thing of the past.
Come May, parties will be jostling to attain power in four wards up for grabs after their seats were declared vacant by the IEC.
ANC regional secretary Eugene “Bonzo” Modise said his party had already familiarised itself with conducting political activities virtually, including branch general meetings.
“That is not easy because we are used to physical contact. Our primary strategy is using door-to-door campaigns. It is going to be difficult to conduct door-to-door as people are terrified by this Covid-19,” he said.
While change was difficult and inevitable, he said party members had learnt to adapt to the current pandemic regulations.
Modise said his party would devise some innovative ways to reach out to voters, including communicating with them using social media.
“Local councillors have contact with almost all registered voters in their wards, and what we need to do is to advise our communities to have smartphones so that we can communicate with them,” he said.
Those who don’t have smartphones, like many elderly people, would be communicated with via SMSes, he said.
“During the special votes councillors have details and addresses of those qualifying to vote – the elderly and people living with disabilities. We are able to directly speak to them. We are living in the 4IR and we can’t go back,” Modise said.
DA regional leader Mpho Mehlape-Zimu said the party’s federal council has issued instructions to lower structures on how to conduct political activities in keeping with the Covid-19 regulations.
“We have taken note of the instructions and we are appreciating the fact that we need to observe Covid regulations at all times.”
While reluctant to disclose much about the party’s campaign strategies, she emphasised “make no mistake our political activities will carry on and not only for the by-elections”.
Mehlape-Zimu, however, did not rule out the possibility of knocking on people’s doors to woo their votes, saying “door-to-door doesn’t mean that we will have 10 or 20 people coming to the door”.
“We are coming up with serious innovative ways. We are going to campaign to the fullest of our ability, but taking into consideration the fact that we still have this pandemic to work around,” she said.
EFF regional leader Moafrika Mabogwana said the prevalence of Covid-19 would obviously affect the party’s campaigns, which relied “on contact engagements”.
“We do door-to-door and we do rallies during the election period,” he said.
The party would use new campaign methods to adhere to Covid-19 regulations under national disaster management, he said.
“We will also rely on social media to try to reach as many people as we can,” Mabogwana said.