Weekend rush to secure the Indian vote

2009-04-19 00:00

Northdale was one of the livelier suburbs as far as electioneering went this weekend, with political party motorcades cruising through the streets. A bemused Bombay Road resident remarked: “We’ve grown used to this. It’s all about enticing the Indian vote”.

Electoral polls have indicated that the Indian vote is up for grabs. So far the ANC seems to be in the lead, having received an endorsement from the powerful Tamil Federation of South Africa on the eve of the election, and earlier from the Muslim community’s Minara Chamber of Commerce.

An analysis of the 2004 national election results by the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa showed that a substantial number of Indian voters cast their ballot for the ANC.

Analyst Adam Habib said at the time this was because of the ANC’s support for both the Palestine cause and the plight of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

uMgungundlovu Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee, who was tasked with bringing activists from minority groups back into the fold, acknowledged that many people had felt alienated from the ANC, believing that the party had abandoned its non-racial principles.

Bhamjee said he is confident that in this campaign the ANC has gone a long way in re-asserting the strong congress tradition that the ANC shares with the Indian community.

He also believes that ANC president Jacob Zuma has made an impact in re-establishing the party’s non-racial principles and making all communities feel welcome.

Political analyst Kiru Naidoo believes that it is still too early to tell and Indians have been known to hedge their bets..br />

He told the Sunday Tribune that the DA remains a player in the Indian community as does the Minority Front.

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