Midvaal: ANC shocked as DA delivers

2011-05-21 16:35

As the shell-shocked ANC recovers from defeat in Midvaal the triumphant DA is already at work.

Its main focus? Job creation and dealing with the housing problem in the municipality’s Sicelo Shiceka informal settlement.

“People voted based on facts, not race. The main consideration (for voters) was service delivery in Midvaal,” said Midvaal mayor Timothy Nast.

He said the municipality’s immediate challenge was to provide houses for the people of Sicelo Shiceka informal settlement’s extension 5.

The municipality gave land to the provincial government to build houses for residents.

There are 3?500 shacks in extension 5, whose residents have to be moved because the shacks are located on a dolomitic site.

Nast rejected allegations that Midvaal’s service delivery was biased in favour of white people.

“The ANC is trying to paint us as a white party,” he said. “We have won because of our service delivery record.”

But he said his administration would work hard to create more jobs by making Midvaal, the only municipality governed by the opposition in Gauteng, more attractive to investors.

The unemployment rate in Midvaal is 26%, with its budget for the coming financial year a whopping R544?million.

The DA won 15 of the 27 seats in the council. The ANC has 11 and the Freedom Front Plus a single seat.

The DA has improved its performance in every election in Midvaal.

It won nine out of the 14 wards on Wednesday and in the local elections in 2006 it took six of the 10 wards.

The ANC was stunned by the DA’s victory in ward 1, which had been held by the ANC for the past 10 years. The DA won 51% of the vote in the predominantly black ward with a winning margin of 103 votes.

“I can’t tell you what went wrong. To be honest, we were really shocked and disappointed.

All of us were really hopeful that we would win Midvaal,” said ANC local election team coordinator Dan Manoeli.

Nast said election results showed that the DA had doubled its black support.

“The ANC is starting to realise the DA is eating away at its support base,” he said.

But the ANC has not given up on winning Midvaal in future.

“The idea now is to maintain our structures and mobilise for the next election,” said Manoeli.

He accused the DA of busing in people from outside Midvaal.

“There is an investigation. You will be shocked when the results come out,” he said.

Midvaal has a population of 100 000, with 64% black, 31% white and 5% Indian and coloured residents.

The municipality is 50% urbanised, with the rest made up of townships, farms, plots and informal settlements covering an area of almost 2 000 square kilometres.

Its economy is largely manufacturing but the agricultural sector also plays a critical role.

The Gauteng Planning Commission’s quality of life survey ranked Midvaal as the best municipality last year.

According to its survey, 68% of Midvaal residents said they were either very satisfied or satisfied with conditions in the area.

The survey report was released by Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane.

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