Sons of Soweto go head to head

2011-05-15 20:48

Johannesburg - With a purse of gold and a magical skyline; with residents from every corner of Mzansi and much further afield, Johannesburg is South Africa’s cosmopolitan heartbeat.

It is the coveted heartland, its crown now contested by two sons of Soweto.

The ANC’s mayoral candidate is Parks Tau, currently head of finances in the mayoral committee.

Tau, who is 40 years old, is a no-nonsense workhorse.

He doesn’t seek media attention and ran a low-key campaign because the governing party decided not to officially name its mayoral candidates.

For the first time, the DA has fielded a black mayoral candidate: Mmusi Maimane.

The 30-year-old management graduate and practising consultant is an urban political party’s dream. Slick and street-smart, he charmed everywhere he went on the hustings, from the country clubs to the township markets.

For the first time, the city had the semblance of a race to watch. From 1994, Johannesburg has run a racial poll: blacks vote for the ANC and whites, along increasingly with coloureds and Indians, vote for the DA.

Close race


How will it end? The DA predicts a close race with the possibility of a small ANC victory.

The ANC’s latest figures suggest it will end the race with about 62% of the final vote.

The opposition was pleasantly surprised at a black bump of support that saw its numbers swell, possibly because of the Maimane effect or a nascent sign of a non-racial opposition vote beginning to form.

Middle-class voters tend to pick parties on issues - and the numbers ­suggest they are beginning to vote on present lived experience lines rather than that of history.

But an ANC strategist said polls “confirmed a racial voting pattern”.

Black ­voters have signalled an intention to vote for the ANC, while the opposition looks set to retain control of the suburban white vote.

There is rising support for the ANC in the south of Johannesburg where the black middle class resides and a lift in ANC support in the northern suburbs, he said.

ANC campaigning in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs has undergone a sea change.

Billing crisis

Last week, the Sunday Times reported that classic dinners, ­croissant and coffee soirees and house parties at exquisite mansions had filled the coffers of suburban candidates.

But, in the main, the ANC has failed to break the racial pattern largely because of the dismal billing crisis which has ­beset the city. Revenue collection is a black hole.

But Johannesburg spends more per resident than Cape Town (and more than any other city) and it has a bigger and ­better capex budget than the Mother City.

This is plain to see in Soweto, which is a city within a city now and no longer a township.

But the imperative to make formal the informal will never end: Johannesburg is a seething mass of humanity arriving in throngs by the day.

Fly in and you can see new shacklands springing up, the zinc of new shacks glinting in the winter sun.

Balancing act

Running ­Johannesburg is a permanent balancing act between maintenance of the old city and development of the new.
 
The ANC’s last term revealed an administration focused on redistribution but not on maintenance.

An interesting piece of research showed that potholes were the fourth biggest issue for both black and white voters.

The colour of money is changing in ­Jozi. It is the quintessential city in flux and the new mayor will have to take that into account.

Either way, this is the city battle to watch on Wednesday.


Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  ferial haffajee  |  mmusi maimane  |  parks tau  |  johannesburg  |  elections
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
--%>
My News Header

Loyalties 'not cast in stone'

Kalim Rajab 28 comments | 87 views |

The dark last days of apartheid are a thing of the past - and community loyalties, as the Indian and coloured communities show, are not cast in stone, writes News24 User Kalim Rajab.

More from users
More Comments
How well did your party fare in the 2011 Local Government Elections? View our interactive map for results from across the country.
 

'DA is the new UDF'

2011-05-25 10:36

The DA is the new UDF. We are the most non-racial party South Africa has ever had, says Helen Zille in a letter to Ferial Haffajee.

 
VIDEO: Voting in Gugulethu 2011-05-18 16:34
The Cape Flats, expected to be one of the country's hotly-contested areas before the elections, has proved to be one of the most laid-back on the day.

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router The B683 wireless gateway (hereinafter...

From R1671.00

I'm shopping for:

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.