Manyi could have hurt ANC in Cape Town – Ehrenreich

2011-05-19 18:30

Tony Ehrenreich, the ANC’s mayoral candidate in Cape Town, conceded that government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi’s comments that there was “an over-supply of coloureds” in the Western Cape, may have harmed the ANC’s chances of swinging votes among the province’s biggest community.

Facing defeat in the Cape Town mayoral race, Ehrenreich also hinted that he may run for premier of the Western Cape in 2014.

“It’s not up to me to say I’m going to run for premier but I think the ANC in the province now really has to look towards 2014 and I am certainly prepared to play my part,” he said as the DA held to a lead of more than 70% in the city with about three-quarters of the vote consolidated.

Ehrenreich, also Cosatu’s Western Cape secretary, said he believed the ANC’s score would grow as counting continued on the Cape Flats but conceded that the party had failed to win coloured voters away from the Democratic Alliance.

“I don’t think we were going to be able to turn around traditional support to other parties so quickly,” he said, adding that people were still voting according to “apartheid faultlines” in the province.

“Coloured areas voted for the DA. So that must tell you that in coloured areas people feel scared and more secure with people who had traditionally given coloureds a better deal.”

No regrets

But, said Ehrenreich, he did not regret refusing to run a campaign that targeted specific race groups.

“I’m not going to be pandering to that type of racial division.”

Ehrenreich added that it was clear that the people in the wealthy suburbs, where the DA enjoyed overwhelming support, were not prepared to support somebody who wanted to build integrated communities.

He said he regretted that his campaign got underway late because he would have liked to reach more communities but had no regrets about repeatedly calling on the wealthy to share resources and vowing to build low-cost housing in leafy suburbs like Constantia.

“They are copping out of the ’94 deal to do away with the legacy of apartheid and holding on to ill-gotten gains – because if you were privileged by apartheid those are ill-gotten.”

Ehrenreich said he did not believe the DA would make good on its promises to deliver to the poor and the ANC would use the next three years to come up with alternative solutions to delivery problems.

The party needed to rebuild trust in the province, he said.

“We come from a very difficult time in the ANC when we were deeply divided and not focused on the needs of communities.”

He reiterated that he would serve as a councillor in the Cape Town metro, though the mayoral seat was clearly going to his DA rival, Patricia de Lille.

“It’s a question of political integrity, people voted for me so I must take up my seat.”

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