Parties hit the campaign trail – on the head: Agang

2013-06-09 14:00

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As election fever starts to take hold, City Press previews what the ANC, the DA and Agang are doing to lay claim to those all-important ballots

The Independent Electoral Commission’s machinery has not yet kicked into gear, but political parties are already in campaign mode for next year’s general election, set to take place in May.

This was brought on by the DA’s controversial pre-election campaign, highlighting the party’s struggle past; and by Mamphela Ramphele’s announcement of her newcomer party, Agang, in February.

The ANC had been too preoccupied with preparing for its national elective conference in Mangaung in December last year to effectively campaign, but it went into election mode soon after.

The early election campaigns kicked off as the economy showed signs of going into stagflation, a labour crisis in the mines and yet another scandal rocking Zuma, this time relating to the landing of a plane chartered by the Gupta brothers, who are family friends of Zuma’s, at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in April.

Agang has singled out Gauteng, Limpopo and Eastern Cape as provinces where it will target votes.

The campaign will have a nationwide footprint because the party wants to portray itself as one that can govern.

Agang itself has no projections for the amount of support it might receive, but DA sources said their research projects a 4% national share of the vote for the newcomer.

The organisation is set to launch formally as a political party on June 22. The Independent Electoral Commission said it was “still considering” an application to be registered as a political party.

Agang’s director of communication, Thabo Leshilo, said the new entrant will use its network of 10 000 volunteers to reach out to voters, in addition to using social media platforms.

“We also use mass mobilisation. You can’t hope that the media will mobilise for you. The real purpose is to meet people. And as the youngest political party, we will have to redouble our efforts,” he said.

He added that Agang leader Mamphela Ramphele will be the face of the party’s campaign, even though the party will also unveil other leaders in future.

Leshilo said polling had informed the choice of strategy and issues on which Agang will campaign.

The issues on which the party will campaign include education, the economy, safety and security, health, and the public service.

“A lot of problems are caused by the lack of integrity and accountability. That’s why our main push is on electoral reform to make people accountable. If they are not accountable we should fire them,” he said.

» Face of the campaign: Mamphela Ramphele

» Not around in 2009

ANC vs DA: How the vote has changed

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