Toilets continue to remain the election's focal point with Midvaal now being thrown into the ring as well. The Premier of Gauteng has defended the ANC's governance record in the province and the party has released "The real story of Cape Town" (you can just imagine what is in that morsel of a document). The DA denies it is behind pamphlets quoting Trevor Manuel telling people not to vote for the ANC. The PAC and Sasco finally join the fray and the IFP loses in the Constitutional Court. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.
The ANC has released a document it calls “The real Cape Town Story”, mimicking the DA’s campaign message of its governance track record in its major municipality. It firstly asserts that the Western Cape Extraordinary Gazette in December, which contained a scorecard for municipalities in the province, the top five are ANC-run, ahead of Cape Town which is in sixth place (these are the Winelands, Knysna, Breede River, Bitou and Central Karoo). The document accuses the DA of raising rates, poor service delivery, Makhaza toilets, violence on the Cape Flats, lack of commitment to transformation and more. Merciless attitudes to obtaining money owed to the council are listed, under-expenditure of budgets with 17% of capital expenditure budget going unspent. There are reams and reams of statistics, too numerous to summarise. Click the link below and read it for yourself. It is the first time we’ve seen a serious and hard-hitting document from the ANC in this election which deals in facts and not just “the DA is racist, the DA is apartheid” etc. etc.
Read more: Politicsweb
Most Christians have not been happy with the ANC’s electioneering tactics, using church language and comparing the Bible with the Freedom Charter. This has finally elicited a response from the ANC. Mathews Phosa, ANC treasurer general, told the media yesterday that the ANC has never existed outside of the church. ANC NEC member, Trevor Manuel, said there was a very strong religious tradition in the ANC and all meetings opened with prayer. In a secular democracy run by the ANC (and the atheistic foundations of one of its tripartite allies) that’s kind of weird.
In a statement yesterday, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane presented a review of the province’s 15 municipalities since the last local government elections. Eleven of the 15 municipalities received clean financial audits and the province saw sanitation delivered to more than 160,000 homes while 228,000 homes received potable water. Municipalities in the province have spent 100% of their municipal infrastructure grant allocations totalling more than R5 billion (although 60% of the capital expenditure budget was not spent) , 1,026km of roads of have been tarred or built, 88 storm water drains have been constructed and eight new taxi ranks have been built. Twenty-four clinics have also been opened and 44 new landfill projects to deal with waste management and a lot more. Once again, just too much to summarise. Please click through for the full statement.
Read more: Politicsweb
Although 11 of the 15 municipalities reported clean audits, the City of Johannesburg has yet to finalise and submit one. This is largely due to the worst billing fiasco in recorded South African history. Several programmes have been launched to help municipalities with their finances – hopefully a calculator or two have made their way to the Johannesburg mayor’s office.
Mokonyane also took a swipe at Midvaal, saying the government was delivering 500 toilets there as the DA had neglected its people in the municipality. Local MEC for housing, Humphrey Mmemezi, somehow doubled that and said he was taking 1,000 toilets to Midvaal at cost of nearly R6 million to the Gauteng government. Wilmot James, DA federal chairman, said the Midvaal municipality had been waiting for the toilets for a year, “It is sad that it took an election and the ANC's political desperation for the province to finally deliver on that request."
The Young Communist League has called for the dismissal of the mayor of Moqhaka municipality Mantebu Mokgosi, in light of the open toilet debacle going on there, in particular criticising her for entering into a deal with residents in which the council would not build toilet enclosures. “This is a spit in the face of the ANC's vision of a better life for all,” said the League. Julius Malema also weighed in saying “heads must roll” and that councils shouldn’t even consider building open toilets. ANC NEC member FIkile Mbalula called open toilets inhumane and Tony Yengeni, campaigning for the party in the Moqhaka municipality, said “There is no excuse for this”.
It will be interesting to see if toilets feature this prominently in any other election. Anywhere. Ever.
The ANC national working committee said it is ready for the upcoming elections and had been campaigning vociferously in the run up to 18 May. The organisation’s culmination will be “the mother of all parties”, the Siyanqoba Rally at the FNB Stadium on 15 May.
The ANC will be laying charges against the DA regarding an unbranded pamphlet which quoted Trevor Manuel urging South Africans not to vote for the ANC. The ANC will be reporting the matter to the IEC and has an affidavit from a Moroka resident who saw a man in a DA T-shirt distributing the pamphlet. Trevor Manuel, present at this announcement, said further indication the DA was responsible was a statement issued earlier in the year by DA national spokeswoman, Lindiwe Mazibuko, where she mentioned Manuel’s criticisms of his own party as a reason to vote for the DA. Said Mazibuko, “We stand by every word of that statement and we are re-releasing it now [...] Like the DA, Trevor Manuel recognises that the ANC has failed to deliver.”
The ANC Women’s League’s 30 Days of Non-Stop Campaigning will culminate in a rally at the Ezakheni Sports Ground in Ladysmith tomorrow. It begins at 09:00.
We find it surprising that the South African Congress of Students (Sasco) has taken so long to speak up, but finally it has. In a statement released yesterday the organisation said, “The DA is the organisational base of the main beneficiaries of apartheid and thus represents classes and strata of those who were prepared to use the most repressive means at their disposal to maintain apartheid.”
Read more: Politicsweb
Helen Zille and Patricia de Lille both spoke at UCT yesterday, making the point that the youth vote could be the decider in many municipalities on 18 May, including Cape Town. “In 2006 we got only 46% of the vote. We need every DA supporter to vote on election day to achieve an outright majority,” said De Lille. Zille said, “The evidence shows that many towns and cities are going to go down to the wire. And the evidence shows that young people are emerging as a key factor in our politics - over 80% of newly registered voters are not yet 30.”
The DA in Limpopo has responded to a weekend newspaper report of tender corruption. Desiree van der Walt, the party leader in the province, said she would be writing to the Public Protector to ask under what circumstances the wife of a mayor would be the beneficiary of a minibus taxi worth R300,000 from a company which benefits from the municipality (a R6 million sewage tender).
Read more: The New Age
"Today is indeed a grave day for our democracy and the IFP is absolutely devastated by the ruling," said Narend Singh, IFP treasurer-general and NEC member after the Constitutional Court ruled for the IEC, appealing the Electoral Court’s judgment that the IFP could submit its candidate list for the Uzumbe district late.
See the full statement on Politicsweb
See the court judgment on Politicsweb
IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi visited Hanover Park in Cape Town yesterday as the IFP campaigned in Western Cape. He did not stage the usual rally, but had tea with about 70 residents where he was able to speak one-on-one. Buthelezi encouraged people to vote saying, “People are not very enthusiastic about voting, but this is an election which is very important for citizens.”
Rear more: EWN
The IFP’s two final election rallies will be on Saturday 14 May at 11:00 in Pomeroy, Masinga, and on Sunday 15 May at 11:00 in the Umhlatuze municipality (Richards Bay, Empangeni). No venues have been specified.
The PAC has finally decided to join the election fracas with the party’s youth wing, the Pan-Africanist Youth Congress (Payco) accusing both the ANC and the DA of ignoring the poor. On the ANC they say “The assertion that people's lives have improved is a colossal deception and delusion. It is a futile propaganda exercise to trick the voters of this country who have been given empty promises for a long time.” And “They [the ANC and the DA] are just two sides of the same coin, the one side being the protection of neo-colonialism, corruption, looting of state resources in the name of BEE whereby merely tiny politically connected black elite[sic] is created and the other side being the protection of the wealth amassed during apartheid by the white minority.”
Read more: Politicsweb
Eastern Cape police have said normal policing will not be affected by security arrangements for the local elections on 18 May. Acting provincial commissioner Major General Noma-Lady Dlani said 2,142 police reservists had been called up to assist and ensure that community safety was not compromised.
Six people from Burundi’s equivalent of the IEC (called CENI) will be coming to observe the local elections in South Africa. Said a spokesman, “The objectives of the visit will be to observe the SA municipal elections on 18 May 2011 and further enhance the capacity of the CENI, with a view to prepare for the 2015 Burundian elections.” This will be their second visit after observing the 2009 national government elections.
The IEC is relieved that the SA Municipal Workers’ Union is suspending its strike due on 13 May, five days before the elections. The 220,000-member strong union could have severely affected election plans. IEC chairwoman, Brigalia Bam said “Municipal Workers’ Union, thank you very much. Convey this to workers and shop stewards.... Yoh, we were so nervous, we were spending sleepless nights. Can you imagine an election taking place when there is a strike?”
Photo: A man attends Freedom Day celebrations in Pretoria April 27, 2011. South Africa celebrates 17 years since the first democratic elections on April 27 1994, which voted the African National Congress and its then-leader, Nelson Mandela, into power. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko.