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Politics

SA Electioneering Diary - 10 May

  • Simon Williamson
    simondm-2
    Simon Williamson

    Simon Williamson was once in advertising before realising that trying to convince people to think differently was far more purposeful than getting them to buy stuff. He once wrote for TV websites before flittering around the world with the sole purpose of seeing more of it. Nowadays, he writes for GoTravel24 as a travel journalist, telling people where to take their holidays.

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elec diary 10 may

Gwede denies the ANC knew anything about its own open toilets, but Mathews Phosa says there will be an investigation. Helen Zille continues to campaign in Port Elizabeth while Patricia de Lille says her administration will focus on the homeless. Cope had a lot to say, quite ironic on the same day Anele Mda left the party. And Nathi Mthethwa says 75,000 cops will ensure the elections will be safe. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.

ANC

Gwede Mantashe yesterday denied the ANC knew anything about the 1,600 open toilets in the Free State ANC-run municipality of Moqhaka. We find this hard to believe as it was reported in Beeld and City Press in July last year – long before the Sunday Times and the Daily Maverick covered it last week. There was also the small matter of it being reported to the Human Rights Commission. Oh, and it is in an ANC-run municipality! ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa has said the party will be investigating as “No one has a right to subject our people to such dehumanising conditions in the name of the ANC.”

Numsa has declared that Cape Town’s new Integrated Rapid Transport System is for the rich and not the poor as it connects the CBD with Table View and not the poor settlements of Khayelitsha or Gugulethu in a statement which said, “The working-class has to rely on unroadworthy buses and taxis to commute from their residing areas to work on daily basis to the annoyance of capitalist bosses for late arrival for work.” Tony Ehrenreich, the ANC’s mayoral candidate for Cape Town, said, “It is a great service and we like the service, but the people who need it most are [on] the Klipfontein Corridor through which people from Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain travel to work.” He compared the IRT system to crowded commuter trains which he said was neglect of the city’s poor.

Read more: Numsa on Politicsweb

Read more: Ehrenreich on TimesLIVE

Amos Masondo, current mayor of the City of Joburg has said he is proud of the city’s accomplishments over the last 10 years, especially the work done in Soweto. He is mum on what he will do after the end of his tenure, but we all hope it has nothing to do with bills. He is expected to be replaced by Parks Tau, current city finance chief.

President Jacob Zuma has said the DA is dreaming if the party thinks it stands a chance of winning the City of Joburg. “Of course, the ANC's going to win, it's a well known fact,” he said at Park Station yesterday morning. The ANC is campaigning strongly in Gauteng as we head to the elections on 18 May and Gauteng ANC leader, Paul Mashatile, expressed confidence that his party would win every municipality in Gauteng, including Midvaal.

The ANC has criticised the DA for questioning the impartiality of the SA Human Rights Commission, which DA national spokeswomen Lindiwe Mazibuko questioned the differing times in compiling reports of open toilets in Makhaza (where it is the DA’s fault) and the Moqhaka municipality (where it is the ANC’s fault). “The DA's bully tactic on the commission is dangerous as it is designed to erode the trust people have in this important public institution. Such[sic] shallow a tactic is indicative of a party in desperation, out of ideas and unable to take the heat. This tactic also once again exposes the DA's double standards, for which it has become notorious.”

Fikile Mbalula, ANC NEC member and minister of sport, was involved in a car accident while driving from Johannesburg to North West, where he was due to campaign. Although his car was damaged, Mbalula was unharmed.


DA

In a speech in PE, Helen Zille said Zuma presented houses to the people of Kwanobuhle in Uitenhage when the project was actually the initiative of a DA councillor. Zille said Franay van der Linde, the DA councillor for that ward, had been campaigning for houses since 2006. “When she began work in Gunguluza there were no RDP houses, only shacks. There were no flushable toilets, only pit latrines. There were only two standpipes supplying water to the community. And there was no electricity whatsoever. It is because of Franay's hard work that the community now has houses with flushable toilets, electricity and running water.”

In the same speech, Zille criticised the Eastern Cape government for using an excuse that it ran out of money when it did not even spend its budget. The provincial government had R500 million of its municipal infrastructure grant taken away because it was not used. “It is bizarre in this context that the municipality said it ran out of money.”

Read more: Politicsweb

James Lorimer, DA shadow minister of co-operative governance and tradition affairs, has responded to a Sunday Times article in which Sicelo Siceka is in trouble with Zuma because he gave a “best municipality” award to a DA-run council in Western Cape. Lorimer says Siceka should be in trouble for wasting taxpayers’ money, rather than forgetting to toe the party line.

Read more: Politicsweb

The award in question was given to Cape Town which identified the city as the place where basic services – sanitation, refuse collection, electricity and water – are most widely provided.

Read the report here. (PDF)

Patricia de Lille has said the homeless will be the focus of her administration, should she win the mayorship. “I would make helping the homeless people of the city a special mayoral project for the first three years of my administration,” she said. De Lille has a six-point programme to counter homelessness, including a one-stop assessment centre to help people get essential services. “Part of my mayoral project would see the city provide this centre with resources so that people who need the most help, usually those who appear time and again in community courts, can break the cycle of their usual habits without going to prison and can get the social help they need.”


COPE

Cope has lashed out at the media for not giving it the kind of coverage it deserves as it builds support in KwaZulu-Natal. Bheki Khusi, Cope provincial secretary, says the lack of coverage has not harmed its efforts in rural areas though. Cope criticised the SABC for not including its candidate in an eThekwini mayoral debate and The Mercury for not including its candidate’s profile when it listed others. Quite astonishingly, Cope does not mention its eThekwini mayoral candidate’s name anywhere in the statement showing that every organisation in the country, including itself, takes Cope seriously.

Read more: Politicsweb

Cope believes it can run Northern Cape, according to its provincial chairman Fred Wyngaard. “The ANC's support has dropped to under 50% in all six municipalities in Namakwa. Cope is the strongest opposition party in 83% of the municipalities this district and we are campaigning for all opposition voters to unite under our banner to prevent another five years of ANC misrule." Strategically, this seems to be the case as party leader Mosiuoa Lekota will be campaigning throughout the province in the next few days.

Read more: Politicsweb

Philip Dexter, Cope’s head of communications, released a statement saying the “toilet wars” between the DA and the ANC was achieving nothing. “At the end of the day, there are no winners in the toilet wars, only people whose dignity is trampled on every day.”

Read more: Politicsweb

In a move which has probably resulted in a calm exhale from every Cope member, firebrand former youth leader Anele Mda has defected back to the ANC. Her time spent in Cope was, well, loud. She reportedly called Jacob Zuma a rapist even after he was acquitted in 2006 saying “rape would no longer be a criminal offence” if the ANC won the election. She was also suspended for calling deputy secretary Diedre Carter a “stupid, token, white bitch”. Mda said she returned to the ANC because Cope lacks political vision. 


IFP

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi says his party is taking on the IEC on the late election lists for Uzumbe. He said Uzumbe is a deeply rural area and the speedy transmission of documents is just not possible. “These were circumstances beyond our control and we sought the IEC's leniency on the matter. But when the IEC excluded the IFP from the elections in Umzumbe, we knew we had to take the matter further. We contested their[sic] decision before the Electoral Court, and the Court ruled in our favour. It was a victory for Umzumbe. But more than that, it was a victory for democracy.”

Read more: Politicsweb


FF+

Piet Mulder has criticised the removal of a statue of Hendrik Verwoerd from Midvaal, saying Verwoerd had been a councillor there and, therefore, part of the area’s history. “One cannot change the history of South Africa by removing statues.” In a surprising reference to Britain, Mulder said, “In London in Whitehall there is a statue in honour of Charles I not far from a statue in honour of Cromwell. Cromwell had had Charles’ head chopped off in 1649, but because it is part of the British history, recognition is given to both leaders.”

(Source: FF+ newsletter)


CDP

The Christian Democratic Party criticised the ANC’s continued references to Christianity in its campaign saying “God is not a political gimmick”. Kind of odd for a political party whose sole existence relies on a reference to God. The CDP’s leader Theunis Botha accused the ANC of portraying itself as Christian when it was pro-choice, and allowed gambling and pornography.


Miscellaneous

Police minister, Nathi Mthethwa, says that the four provinces targeted as safety risks during the municipal elections on 18 May are KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Mpumalanga and Western Cape. Seventy-five-thousand police officers would be presiding over the elections, assisted by the army. “We are confident the local government elections will be safe and secure.”

Read more: Politicsweb


Photo: Supporters of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and President Jacob Zuma demonstrate against the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) outside a court in Cape Town April 29, 2011. South Africa goes to the polls on May 18, 2011 to elect local government representatives. The Western Cape is the only province in South Africa that is not controlled by the ANC. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings.

  • Simon Williamson
    simondm-2
    Simon Williamson

    Simon Williamson was once in advertising before realising that trying to convince people to think differently was far more purposeful than getting them to buy stuff. He once wrote for TV websites before flittering around the world with the sole purpose of seeing more of it. Nowadays, he writes for GoTravel24 as a travel journalist, telling people where to take their holidays.

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