ANC’s broken promises see DA’s support base in Msunduzi grow

2014-05-10 00:00

BREAD-AND-BUTTER issues — that’s what new Democratic Alliance supporters in Pietermaritzburg’s former Indian and coloured areas in the northern suburbs said motivated them at the polls this week.

The DA’s support grew around 3,5% points in Msunduzi this election — growth of some 34% on the 2009 national election result, thanks mainly to new voters living in Woodlands, Eastwood, Mountain Rise and Northdale.

Msunduzi Rates Forum chairperson Babs Sitherpersad said, “We do believe that people have realised that for democracy to work there must be a strong opposition.

“The reason for an increase in the DA votes in the northern suburbs also has to do with the lack of service delivery, corruption and an uncontrolled evaluation roll by the council,” he said.

Northdale resident Venolin Govender, a former Agang provincial secretary in KwaZulu-Natal, said, “I have changed my support to the Democratic Alliance because they do not talk change, but deliver change.”

She said she had seen the work that people like DA councillor Mergan Chetty had done for the people of Pietermaritzburg, assisting with rates, indigent grant applications and in fighting corruption.

“This is what the people want to see in political leaders,” said Govender.

Another Northdale resident, Roshina Jaglal, said she had been to the ANC councillors previously for assistance and they had turned her away. “The DA councillors have been willing to assist me and other members of the area with indigent applications, lights queries, rates and grants,” she said.

Jaglal said she also supported the DA because she believed they supported all people in the area, not only those with party membership cards.

A Woodlands resident, Shantel Swartley, said she had always supported the DA because they were fair.

“We see the help they give the poor people in our area. I like what the DA is doing in Cape Town and wish they could run PMB, so they can clean up the city,” she said.

Judy Yvette of Cinderella Park in Eastwood said, “We have complained to our councillor about our electricity problems and she failed to assist us but when we contacted the DA’s councillor Chetty, he has always made himself available to help us.

“We hope to replace our councillor with a DA councillor in the next local government election,” said Yvette.

DA MPL Mark Steele, a Maritzburger, agreed.

He said that while the placing of Msunduzi under administration on the ANC’s watch and the debacle with electricity tariff increases in the capital recently had not had a direct relevance to the national and provincial vote, they resulted in a change in the behaviour of some voters.

“Those issues turn an apathetic voter into an angry voter. An apathetic voter will sit and do nothing, but an angry voter will go out and vote against the party responsible.”

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