DA claims it won mind battle in Sheppy

2011-05-24 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance says it won a psychological battle against the ruling African National Congress during the local government elections last week.

The party has wrested three wards from the ruling ANC in the Hibiscus Coast Municipality, one of which covers Port Shepstone.

The DA sees this is as cause for celebration, although the ANC is in charge of the municipality.

The ANC defeated the opposition and minority parties in the Ugu District Municipality in all the six local municipalities.

The DA’s Indian Ocean South constituency chair, Doug Rawlins, said that the party’s winning the town is a sore point for the ANC.

“They needed to be in charge of the area. It’s a psychological thing. They made a big story when they won the ward from the DA in 2006, and now we have taken it back.

“We have been able to identify where we have to work hard and, yes, come 2014 they’ll be in for a nasty surprise. The fact that we have taken three of their wards in this area says it all.

“We had five wards and we came back hard, taking the three wards (12, 17 and 18),” boasted Rawlins.

The DA won the wards by 416, 224 and 285 votes respectively, taking its wards in the municipality from five to eight.

Political analysts and the media report that the ANC has lost support compared to previous local government elections, while the DA has won voters from black communities.

Rawlins said his party’s winning of wards from the ANC is testimony that the DA has been and is still working hard to close the gap between the party and the public.

From 2006 to 2011 the party’ s votes escalated from about 6 500 in the area to more than 14 000.

Rawlins said the DA ran the election campaigns on matters of service delivery and the voters responded well.

“We have been criticised for being racists, but if you read and listen to news, racists are those who still measure women’s success on the colour of their skin, instead of their ability to perform,” he said referring to ANC Youth LEague president Julius Malema’s calling DA member Lindiwe Mazibuko a “tea girl”.

ANC South Coast regional secretary Mzwandile Mkhize said the DA only won in the white minority areas and that it has not made inroads into rural areas.

“This confirms that the DA is a white minority party and to brag about being in charge of Port Shepstone geographically has no significance to us,” said Mkhize.

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