There's a DA branch on Zuma's stoep

2015-12-06 14:01
DA members gather at the party's Nkandla branch. (pic supplied)

DA members gather at the party's Nkandla branch. (pic supplied)

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Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance has launched a branch on President Jacob Zuma’s doorstep, arguing he has "neglected" residents of Nkandla.

And though a local branch launched in 2011 did not survive, the party vowed to make this one work ahead of local government elections.

The ANC, meanwhile, felt confident of its support in the area.

Kwazulu-Natal DA leader Zwakele Mncwango said there was "much excitement" at the branch launch on Sunday morning, with people stopping to ask for the party’s blue T-shirts.

Around 60 people gathered at the local sports ground. Zuma’s homestead lies about 20km south of the town.

"An elderly woman said they were so excited when Zuma took over and that there would be change," he said. "But they have realised it is all about himself and he doesn’t care about [the town of] Nkandla."

He said he had expected some sort of investment in the area.

"People in Nkandla haven’t really felt freedom. It appears they only read about freedom in newspapers."

Residents would be shown a DVD and have the party vision explained to them. 

Branch leaders would also be elected.

Claiming people felt neglected, Mncwango said his address would focus on education and job creation.

ANC MP Dennis Gamede said he did not feel at all threatened by the opposition branch opening in his constituency.

"There is democracy in South Africa. Everyone is free to do everything," he told News24 on Sunday.

"We have heard stories before. Two or three years ago, the DA came with a bus and said they are opening a branch. We never saw them again."

He said the reality was that all areas experienced challenges.

While some said Nkandla was underdeveloped, others said it was being "over serviced".

"The major challenge as a constituency is water. It is difficult to bring other services without water. So our priority is water and then electrification. We are happy with the progress of electricity and there are only a few places without."

DA UThungulu constituency head Ann McDonnell said she was determined to make the branch a success.

"The previous branch didn’t survive. If you don’t get one person elected into the municipality it is very hard to sustain interest. We hope to get two or three people elected."

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  nkandla  |  politics

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