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Port Elizabeth: The next Cape Town?

11 April 2011, 07:05  - Voter
South Africa could be on the verge of experiencing monumental changes in the political landscape.

Opposition parties could form coalitions and take control of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth city councils if the ANC does not win an outright majority (>50%) in upcoming municipal elections.

The ANC has done this before. We all remember the Western Cape and Cape Town. After the people gave the ANC a mandate to govern the province, the ANC rewarded the people by becoming engaged in internal fighting. The DA and the rest of the opposition went on to control Western Cape. Helen Zille became mayor of Cape Town in a fragile coalition government. Yet this turned out quite well.

The ANC won only 50.1% of the Port Elizabeth vote in the 2009 general election. If the ANC does not get more than 50% of the vote now, Port Elizabeth could be the next Cape Town. If the ANC does not get more than 50% of the vote, the opposition needs to select a mature, hardworking, hands-on, humble person to lead the PE/Nelson Mandela Metropolitan area.

It should be interesting to see what opposition parties say about what they would do to make Port Elizabeth catapult Pretoria, Johannesburg and Durban to be one of Africa's and the Southern Hemispheres leading city.

The ANC is seeing internal problems up and down the country.

Even in East London/Buffalo City there are whispers of problems within the ANC.

If the opposition takes control of another major municipality in addition to Cape Town, and runs that that municipality efficiently and professionally, the 2014 general elections could see the ANC swept from power.

Whatever the opposition does, it needs to be united and disciplined. The leadership of COPE has been disgraceful. There is as much infighting in COPE as there is within the ANC. 

This letter is not about being anti-ANC. This letter is about better government. If political parties know they can’t take foregone elections for granted, at least they will begin to deliver better and improved services to the people.

The National Party thought it would govern the Western Cape for decades after the 1994 elections. However bad decisions there, resulted in the eventual demise of the National Party. The Democratic Alliance is only doing a good job in the Western Cape, because it knows very well voters will throw them out of power if they fail to deliver.

Even if the ANC gets between 50% - 55% of the PE vote, I am quite sure that the citizens of PE will be the ultimate winners, because the ANC would make sure that they begin delivering to the people of PE.

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