Gauteng a land of opportunity for political parties

2014-04-27 15:00

The last few days of the election campaign will see major political party leaders ­consolidating their strongholds, with all ­vying for a piece of Gauteng.

The province has the most registered voters (6?million), the majority of whom are in Joburg itself (more than 2?million), followed by Ekurhuleni (about 1.5?million) and Tshwane (about 1.4?million).

ANC leaders told City Press that all the party’s national executive committee members would descend on Gauteng for what they hope will be the biggest Siyanqoba ­Rally.

More than 100?000 are expected to attend the rally at FNB Stadium in Joburg.

In a last-ditch bid to shore up support for her party, DA leader Helen Zille will be doing a whirlwind tour of four of the provinces where the party has gained the most new supporters over the past five years. But she will also spend four days in Gauteng over the next week.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema will also spend next week around Gauteng to boost numbers for his final rally in Pretoria next Sunday.

But the ANC will also be wrapping up all the votes it can muster in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga to make up for any shortfall in the rest of the country.

Gauteng is fiercely contested, but the ANC still enjoys majority support.

ANC internal polls indicate it could receive anything from 56% to 60% of the votes.

But ANC leaders in the province told City Press its numbers could rise if there was a bigger turnout.

Its polls indicate about 11% of registered voters are undecided and could still be mobilised to support the party.

Their most generous Gauteng projection for the DA was 23%, with up to 8% for the EFF.

President Jacob Zuma’s programme will take him to five provinces next week before he addresses the party’s showpiece Siyanqoba Rally on Sunday.

Zille will kick off a “jobs tour” through Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape, targeting communities where unemployment is high.

The tour will start on Workers’ Day on Thursday.

The DA’s figures indicate a coalition government in Gauteng is not entirely out of reach, but it would take an extraordinary effort to make this happen.

Zille and the DA’s candidate for Gauteng premier, Mmusi Maimane, plan to launch a second Ayisafani advert in Gauteng tomorrow after communications regulator Icasa ruled that the original ad should be withdrawn from the SABC.

Zille’s diary indicates she will be campaigning in Gauteng on Wednesday and back on Saturday for the DA’s final rally.

The party will host a concert in Soweto the next day to thank supporters.

IFP president Mangosuthu will address the party’s Gauteng supporters at a rally in Soweto today, which the party will use to hold on to its only seat in the provincial ­legislature. After that he will criss-cross KZN.

The party will hold its final Sizonqoba (We will triumph) rally in Ulundi next Sunday.

In KZN, ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said the strategy would focus on building hype about voting among the youth while having leaders “mopping up” and addressing concerns of communities with long-standing service-delivery issues.

The third pillar would be to consolidate the ANC’s core voters. “We don’t want to go into the election with communities ­unhappy.

This is why we will mop up areas where there are concerns about service ­delivery,” Zikalala said.

Malema will address a rally near the Glebe Hostel in Durban today. He returns to Gauteng tomorrow and leads a march against the SABC on Tuesday.

After another Joburg meeting on Wednesday, he flies to the Eastern Cape before returning to Gauteng for the three days for the EFF’s Tshela Thupa Rally in Pretoria.

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