Election hot spots to watch this ballot season

2014-04-13 15:00

After averaging 65% in the last two elections, the ANC is expected to face its biggest challenge in trying to retain or increase its support base.

Some pundits project it could fall even below 60%. Across the country in different towns, communities are at loggerheads with the ANC.

Areas like Hamburg in Western Cape to Marikana in North West, all the way to Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga, will be sites of serious contestations among political parties.

Already, some of these areas have made electioneering difficult for the ruling ANC, while smaller and emerging parties are turning out as the go-to parties for residents.

In Bekkersdal, Gauteng, residents have violently stopped the ANC from campaigning in the area and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has been occupying the space as the go-to party for residents.

Midvaal, which is the only municipality under the DA’s control in Gauteng, has been a focus for the ANC. It wants control.

In Sterkspruit, Eastern Cape, ANC leaders were recently prevented from campaigning there. Residents also prevented voter registration.

In North West, the 2012 Marikana mine shootings could come back to haunt the ANC. The EFF has shown sympathy for the slain miners and went as far as blaming the ANC for the killings.

The 2010 shooting of residents in Hangberg and striking farm workers in De Doorns will provide the politicking game for the ANC in its bid to oust the DA from controlling Western Cape.

KwaZulu-Natal, where the ANC is pushing hard for a big majority, will see battles fought over the Durban-Pietermaritzburg corridor and the Zululand District Municipality.

The ANC wants to up its cut of the minority vote in the corridor, while the DA believes the largest concentration of born-frees will enable it to be the official opposition at the expense of the IFP.

In Limpopo, Julius Malema’s hometown of Seshego will be the battleground where the ANC will go all out to prove its former youth leader was not grounded at home. But the EFF says it will fight very hard to win Seshego.

In Malamulele, the ANC will face stiff resistance from residents to vote for it after the party failed to adhere to demands for the creation of a municipality for the area. Residents want their own municipality to speed up service delivery.

Bushbuckridge and Thaba Chweu (Lydenburg) will be hot spots to watch as the EFF, the DA and residents’ associations are gaining ground to oust the governing party.

With 220?000 votes at stake and both municipalities under administration, residents are not at all happy and this could be a chance for minor parties to shine.

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