ANC guns for Amajuba

2010-10-25 00:00

THERE is a scramble for the total control of Amajuba District Municipality in the Emalahleni region, southern KwaZulu-Natal, where the ANC faces an uphill battled because of a coalition by opposition parties.

During the launch of the ANC’s local government elections campaign in Newcastle yesterday, thousands of tripartite alliance members from all corners of the province packed the Majuba FET college grounds to capacity.

The elections will take place next year.

ANC provincial chairperson Dr Zweli Mkhize said a lot still needed to be done to gain total control of the municipalities.

“We need to start our preparations now, although the election manifesto can only be announced next year. There are many steps to be taken to prepare the ANC and its branches for the mammoth task ahead. Local municipal elections are about local conditions that our people experience in their daily lives.

“This therefore requires us to pay particular attention on the needs of the communities and on characters and conduct of individual representatives we elect,” said Mkhize.

He said that in the 2009 provincial and national government elections the ANC received 62% of the votes. He said the leadership has an obligation to ensure all votes cast in 2009 are cast again to give the ANC a majority in the municipalities in the province.

To get similar results, Mkhize said, the ANC needs to pay attention to diversity issues as raised by minority communities and include them in the overall programme of transformation in the country.

He acknowledged that of all the provinces, KZN has the largest backlog of 900 000 houses.

He said that among the challenges the party faces is the relocation of councillors away from their constituencies and the pursuing of personal business interests.

Amajuba has three local municipalities — Newcastle, (Utrecht) and Dannhauser.

The ANC is aiming to take total control of the municipalities, but it is being hampered because opposition parties have formed a coalition and prevented the ruling party from having the last word in Dannhauser and eMadlangeni.

The former has 20 council seats, of which the ANC has nine, the Inkatha Freedom Party eight, and the Democratic Alliance and the Royal Loyal Progress having one each.

In eMadlangeni, power is shared between the ANC, which has three of the six council seats, the IFP with two and the DA with one.

The IFP and the DA formed a coalition and power is shared equally.

It is in the Newcastle local municipality that the ANC has a majority — it holds 31 of the 61 council seats.

Emalahleni region’s Arthur Zwane said they will take the municipalities if leaders like IFP national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi and other progressive members were to join the ANC.

But Magwaza-Msibi warned people not to misinterpret what is happening in the IFP.

She said, “I joined the IFP with the purpose of serving the people and I’ll never be associated with another political party.

“People must not be over-excited because all parties have their ups and downs, so as soon as we deal with our issues everything will be back on track. We saw in the by-elections that people still have hope in the IFP, so we have a task not to disappoint those people,” said Magwaza-Msibi.

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