Bitou ANC coalition at risk of collapse amid anti-Zuma sentiment

2017-04-07 08:53
(File: ANC)

(File: ANC)

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Cape Town - The ripples of President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle might be felt in local government, as the mayor of the Western Cape’s Bitou municipality mulls pulling out of a coalition with the ANC.

“People have been asking me, 'Mr Mayor, what is your position in this?',” Active United Front (AUF) member Peter Lobese said on Thursday.

The municipality includes the seaside playground Plettenberg Bay.

Lobese appeared to have cut ties already after issuing a statement saying he had left the coalition, but by Thursday evening, he told News24 it was not that simple.

He had a legally binding contract for five years which sealed the coalition deal, so this weekend he would meet with AUF supporters and a lawyer to decide what to do.

“We will discuss for the whole weekend to see whether this marriage is working or not. I am still the mayor.”

He described the AUF as an affiliate of the United Front, a political movement borne out of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA being kicked out of the Congress of SA Trade Unions. He said that because the UF did not contest elections, local supporters may do so as affiliates, as he had done.

By-elections

In other developments, the DA retained its seat in Wednesday's by-election in the municipality, according to results released by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).

David Swart in Ward 2 in Bitou retained the seat with 86.33% of the 3 543 votes cast. Voter turnout was 66.25%.

DA provincial spokesperson Anneke Scheepers said Swart's victory showed an increase in support for the DA from 84% of the vote previously, despite the ANC-AUF coalition.

“It indicates that people are really, not just in Bitou, but in South Africa, turning away from the ANC,” she said.

In other by-election results, independent candidate Prince Blessing Mwali took Ward 23 in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal. He won the seat with 43.08% of the 2 272 votes cast. Voter turnout was 44.01%.

The ward was previously represented by the ANC and became vacant when the Electoral Court set aside the election, the IEC said.

The ANC's candidate Xola Chuma Mndela kept the party's seat in Ward 3 in the uMziwabantu municipality in KwaZulu-Natal with 75.69% of the 1 879 votes cast. Voter turnout was 32.78%.

Lucky Steven Nyathi in Ward 1 in the Victor Khanye municipality, in Mpumalanga, retained the seat for the ANC there with 57.07% of the 1 490 votes cast. Voter turnout was 42.69%.

The DA's Elleanor Anne Huggett retained Ward 73 in Norwood, Johannesburg, for the party with 84.37% of the 4 346 votes cast. Voter turnout was 28.64%.

Voting in Ward 18 in the Moretele municipality, North West, was postponed to Tuesday to allow officials to identify and remove voters incorrectly registered in that ward.

Read more on:    anc  |  george  |  cape town  |  local government  |  politics

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