Motlanthe blasts slate campaigning while the DA makes a push at winning its first ward in a black township; Cope continue to take themselves seriously (at least someone is) as they lose more members back to the ANC; IFP members aren't thrilled with NFP defectors; Mitchell's Plain could become an interesting focal point, come 18 May. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.
The Independent Electoral Commission said on Monday the 2011 local government elections will be the first in which special votes (for registered voters who cannot vote on 18 May) can be cast. Registration for special votes opened on Friday and close on Tuesday 3 May. These votes can be cast on 16 May (a great help as it is within two days of voting day anyway…) and in the case of people with disabilities, election officials will visit residences on 16 or 17 May. For more info phone the IEC on 0800-11-8000.
Deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe blasted slate campaigning when he delivered the Sasco Walter Sisulu Memorial Lecture in Mthatha. Slate campaigning is a system whereby members group behind one candidate to ensure he or she succeeds, as happened when Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma faced off in Polokwane. Motlanthe: “What this means is that the organisation is split in two, with each side owing allegiance to itself in such a way that it elevates its interests above those of the organisation, at least at that time.” Motlanthe has spoken out against slate campaigning and factionalism in the past, but the voice of one probably won’t change how the ANC elects its leaders.
Read more: Politicsweb
Nehawu (National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union), a Cosatu affiliate, says it will back the ANC in the upcoming elections and calls for a meeting between Cosatu and the SACP on how to deal with perceived breakdowns in relations. Later in the statement they congratulate the Cubans on thrashing the US in the Bay of Pigs invasion and then book Cuban holidays. Sorry, I mean consolidate their exchange programme with Cuba.
Read more: Politicsweb
City of Joburg municipality is not having a great election run as an unscheduled power cut last week and the continuation of the Pikitup strike are, for lack of a better term, really pissing people off. Around 80% of Pikitup’s Samwu members went on a go-slow before the strike, but evidently no one noticed, necessitating a full strike – which has affected everyone, bar those persons who are visually and olfactorily-challenged.
Lindiwe Mazibuko, DA national spokeswoman, says the City of Cape Town has collected 96% of rates owed to it and that this has been done in a fair manner. Much of her statement is electioneering, but she does go on to explain how the DA spends judiciously and legally (which has been the party’s mantra since it won Cape Town) and how it looks after its poor (which opposition parties in the region constantly counter with scepticism).
Read more: Politicsweb
Helen Zille aims to extend her party’s reach into Mpumalanga, while also seeking to win its first black township in Mangosuthu, once a staunch IFP stronghold (hence its name) within an area which is pro-ANC. In the 2006 local government elections there, the DA took a battering, but performed strongly in a by-election last year, snapping up 35% to the ANC’s 59%. The wildcard in the region may be the National Freedom Party, led by Zanele Mgwaza-Msibi who broke away from the IFP in January.
Read more: The New Age
The DA feels the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality may be the next large metro to fall into its hands, although the ANC remains confident of holding it. Ex-Tshwane mayor, Gwen Ramokgopa’s nephew and the man who is expected to be the ANC’s mayoral candidate, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, said: “We are less concerned about the opposition because that’s not the aim”. Bryan Topham, the DA’s candidate, says a swing of only 7%, or 780,000 votes, could place the metro in DA hands. In the 2006 local government elections, the ANC received 56% of the vote to the DA’s 31%.
Read more: News24
Cope, seemingly under the illusion that anyone still takes them seriously, will be filing a complaint with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission and the Independent Communications Authority of SA about “editorial censoring” of its election programme broadcast on the SABC. Said Cope whip Juli Killian, “Since regional parties such as the Inkatha Freedom Party…, the United Democratic Movement and the FF Plus – essentially a small niche party – were afforded live coverage of their election manifestos, Cope, as a national player, will insist on live coverage on SABC TV of an election event to be arranged within the next three weeks.” Those of us who have observed Cope arranging anything more difficult than cushions on a couch will be waiting with baited breath.
The Gauteng ANC has welcomed back three members who held senior positions in Cope. The Gauteng provincial chairman, a member of the congress national committee, spokesman and advisor to the leader of Cope in Parliament have all returned. Using any kind of “rats fleeing ships” expression is just too easy.
The relationship between the IFP and its breakaway, the NFP, was always going to be fractious, but three IFP members have wound up in court after allegedly attacking homes owned by NFP members in Soweto last week. A spokesman for the police, Captain Mpande Khoza, said the attack happened after IFP members taking part in a march saw people wearing NFP tshirts.
Small parties and independent candidates are emerging and threatening their more-established counterparts in municipalities across the country, most notably in Mitchell’s Plain which will feature the Community Coalition going head-to-head with the DA. Says the party’s Rosario Brown, “We expect a tough race with the DA and a lot of mudslinging, but I expect it to be in a good spirit.”
Read more: EWN
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