Tlokwe: Blunder won’t cost us – ANC

2011-05-14 18:24

A pitched battle is being waged between the ANC and the DA in Tlokwe and ­Midvaal, two municipalities up for grabs by both parties.

Even though it failed to register its councillor candidates in seven wards, the ANC was confident of retaining control of Tlokwe (Potchefstroom).

“We are not in panic mode,” said ANC local elections team coordinator and Tlokwe municipal manager Itumeleng Mosala.

The party’s provincial leadership is ­under fire from Luthuli House in Johannesburg for the non-registration blunder. Even ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has called for heads to roll.

Mosala said the ANC would win at least 17 wards. The ANC won 15 of the current 21 wards in the 2006 municipal elections, while the others went to the DA. Tlokwe has an additional five wards this election, bringing the number to 26.

Ikageng township, which is the ANC stronghold, has become the main battleground in Tlokwe.

Whichever party wins the minds and hearts of Ikageng residents controls the municipality.

More than half the 26 wards in Tlokwe are from the township. With a population of about 150 000, Ikageng is almost ­entirely black. There are Indians and­ ­coloureds in the area. There are also ­informal settlements.

Said Mosala: “We will campaign until the last hour in terms of the electoral act. We are not complacent.’’

But the DA said the ANC was in for a big surprise. “We are aiming for at least 12 wards. Tlokwe is winnable.

People are tired of corruption and lack of service ­delivery here,” said DA mayoral candidate Juanita Terblanche.

“This election will be a watershed ­moment for our country because people will be voting on issues, not along racial lines,” she said.

The DA is hoping to take ward 19 (in Ikageng). DA councillor candidate Jabulani Makhunga said even if the ANC had registered for the ward it would have lost.

“They have made many empty promises. In fact, since Nelson Mandela retired from politics, there has not been any ­development here,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Midvaal, the race seems too close to call. The DA governs there, but the ANC as the opposition party is already in a celebratory mood.

According to ANC local elections team coordinator Dan Manoeli, eight of the municipality’s 14 wards – 1, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 – are in the bag for the ANC.

These eight wards, on which the ANC is pinning its hopes, comprise mostly black residents.

Manoeli said the other wards were “lily white” and were likely to go to the DA.

He said the ANC had a legal team in place which would work with the police to ensure that farm workers were allowed to vote on Wednesday. Housing is the main issue in Midvaal.

Midvaal mayor and DA elections ­campaign manager Timothy Nest said his party was guaranteed seven wards – 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 13 and 14.

“We’re fighting hard for ward 5. We are not like the ANC that walks into the area and arrogantly predicts the election outcome. We are fighting to win,” he said.

There are 46 000 registered voters in the area, compared to 35 000 in 2009.

According to the latest survey, the population of Midvaal is 100 000, with 64% black and 31% white residents.

Midvaal is 50% urbanised with the rest made up of townships, farms, plots and informal settlements.

In 2006 the DA won six wards, while four went to the ANC. The DA has run the municipality since 2000. 

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