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SA Electioneering Diary – 17 May

SA Electioneering Diary – 17 May

ANC's toilet strife increases while the Cape Times has rather a lot to say about the DA. Gwede Mantashe criticises the media's election coverage while Zille warns against blind loyalty to any political party and Patricia de Lille wonders which role Tony Ehrenreich actually wants. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.


The ANC is already taking it in the neck regarding the open toilets in the Moqhaka municipality in Free State and it isn’t getting any easier for them. Yesterday the SA Human Rights Commission found against the ANC, saying the municipality had failed to adequately plan the toilets’ installation and rejected its explanation that it had no money. Most importantly, the finding specifically mentioned a monitoring failure in provincial and national government. Jackson Mthembu, ANC national spokesman, said the party’s own investigation would be completed within two months and 400 toilets have already been enclosed (that’s about 25%).

Read more: Politicsweb, TimesLIVE

DA national spokeswoman, Lindiwe Mazibuko, responded to the judgment. She called on the ANC to withdraw its accusations of racism against the DA about the Mkhaza open toilets. “Now more than ever the ANC needs to focus on service delivery rather than racial rhetoric and good governance rather than divisiveness.”

Read more: Politicsweb

Gwede Mantashe yesterday criticised the media for its coverage of the 2011 local government elections, accusing publications of “[couching] analysis as facts” and that problems were reported in the media without positive goings on. Journalists raised their own concerns, telling Mantashe the ANC needed to manage its communication better, but he responded saying that if the ANC tried to manage to media better, journalists would “cry control”.

Mantashe, at the same sitting, also said he expected voter turnout to be above the 48% recorded in the 2006 elections. “It’s going to be better than 48%… because I’ve been there, we’ve talked to people, we have a sense of the mood.” He also claimed the ANC’s share of the “white vote” would increase. The DA and Freedom Front are visibly quaking in their boots.

Read more: News24

Furthermore, Mantashe said successes in this election were not only about metros. “We are not in an election of metros,” said Mantashe. “If we win double the number of the four rural municipalities we control in Western Cape, that will be progress for us.”

Jacob Zuma announced the ANC will act against councillors not doing their jobs properly. “If anyone of us… mess(es) up, people don’t blame us as individuals, they blame the ANC. We are not going to allow comrades to mess up, we are going to take action.” Excuse our scepticism… it took nearly a year for the ANC to “know” about the open toilets in Moqhaka and take action.

Read more: TimesLIVE


The DA has been taken to task by opposition parties in Cape Town for delaying the city’s budget vote with claims the party is struggling to get the necessary 106 votes to pass it. The Cape Times reports that, after several councillors defected to other parties, there was indeed a danger of the vote going against the DA. Deputy mayor Ian Neilson moved the budget so a decision will only be made after the elections, when the DA hopes to rule the City of Cape town without a coalition. ANC chief whip Peter Gabriel lambasted the DA: “It’s clear the DA can’t raise the 106 (votes). The coalition has collapsed and (is) about to lose the election on 18 May.” The ACDP, FF+ and Social Democratic Party also weighed in (but no one really listens to them). Tony Ehrenreich, ANC mayoral candidate for Cape Town, was also present at the meeting.

Read more: IOL

Sticking with the Cape Times, the publication which reported that one of the DA election adverts was fraudulent, an editorial yesterday criticised the DA, and in particular a statement by DA strategist Ryan Coetzee, released in response to the aforementioned report. The editorial said, “In essence Coetzee accused Ndenze [journalist who wrote the article in question] of misrepresenting the facts about a woman who appeared in a television advert praising the DA for installing electricity in Tambo Square, Gugulethu.” It went on to say “This is an extremely serious allegation and, quite frankly, defamatory of the reporter in question. The Cape Times has requested of the DA that it correct the inaccuracies in Coetzee’s statement – most particularly the claim that the journalist  ‘conspired with the ANC to create a story designed to discredit the DA’s TV advertisement’ – and apologise to Ndenze. But humility is not the DA’s strongest suit, and we are not holding our breath.” If the DA does indeed respond or apologise, we’ll let you know.

Helen Zille, speaking in Soweto yesterday, warned voters against blind loyalty to political parties. “… blind loyalty to a political party in a democracy is a bad thing. It allows corruption to flourish. It allows governments to get away with poor service delivery. It allows political parties to forget about the people and enrich themselves.”  And, “The people of South Africa are being neglected because the politicians in power think that the voters will keep voting for them whatever happens.” If the DA does break through in one or more significant areas this election, the ANC’s response will be interesting to watch.  Zille also lambasted the current ANC, “Both President Zuma and Julius Malema did their best to divide South Africans on the basis of race. They trampled on Nelson Mandela’s vision of building one rainbow nation with one shared future.”

Read more: Politicsweb

The City of Cape Town gave itself a pat on the back as it received a seventh consecutive award from the Auditor General for a clean audit.

Read more: Politicsweb

The mass protest and land invasions in Mitchell’s Plain over the weekend could delay formal housing in the area, says the City of Cape Town. The land invasions occurred on territory which the city has specified for formal housing. “The City of Cape Town recognises that there is a need for housing right across Cape Town and is sympathetic to the fact that that some people have been waiting for a long time and are impatient. The city cannot, however, allow people to illegally occupy vacant land or build structures.” Warnings were also issued about building structures on the allotted land: “If people continue to attempt to occupy the land and erect illegal structures, the city will consider approaching the high court for an eviction order to evict them and to break the structures down.”

Read more: Politicsweb, The Star

Patricia de Lille said the DA wants to govern Cape Town outright with a majority on the city council and escape coalitions if possible. She also spoke about her rival for the post, Tony Ehrenreich saying she was worried about his understanding of local government: “He says if he’s elected mayor of Cape Town, he’ll deal with education… which is a national and provincial competence… He further says he’s going to improve the Metrorail system, again a competence of national government. The guy doesn’t have a clue about what he wants to do; he also doesn’t have a plan.”

Read more: News24


An IFP mayor of the Umzinyathi district municipality (seated in Dundee) will be fasting and praying for a good election result: “I’m not only fasting for the IFP to win the elections, but also because the council wants to continue delivering services to the poor,” says mayor Mbangiseni Yengwa. If services were actually given to the poor, fasting would be superfluous, in our estimation.

Read more: TimesLIVE


An Ipsos-Markinor poll in April found 14.7% of voters undecided and expected 56.6% of voters to favour the  ANC, 19.3% to vote DA, 2.1% IFP and the rest spread pretty thinly. This was a national survey and is, therefore, difficult to apply to local government elections. Really useful and timeous, then.

Read more: Politicsweb

Business Day reports a significant reduction in election violence in South Africa, particularly hot spots in KwaZulu-Natal.

Read more: Business Day

Bloomberg predicts these elections will weaken the ANC’s grip on power

Read more: Bloomberg 

Photo: Former South African President Nelson Mandela (R) is assisted by his granddaughter Ndileka Mandela (C) and an IEC official as he casts his vote ahead of the May 18 elections, at his home in Houghton May 16, 2011. South Africa will hold municipal elections nationwide on Wednesday in a vote seen as a gauge of support for President Jacob Zuma and his ruling African National Congress. REUTERS/Elmond Jiyane.


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