Patient work won Vulindlela for ANC

2011-05-25 00:00

AN intense two-year campaign for votes in the Vulindlela area — traditionally an Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) stronghold — has paid off for the African National Congress (ANC) as it made a clean sweep of all wards run by the IFP in last week’s local government elections.

The road to snatching wards 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 from the IFP was, however, no walk in the park. ANC secretary in the Moses Mabhida region, Supa Zuma, said yesterday that the region started campaigning to get the majority of votes already in the 2009 general elections, which laid the foundation for them to capture the votes in last week’s elections.

The campaigns included door-to-door visits to get voters’ assurances that they would vote for the ANC. About 2 000 volunteers took up this task. These visits were coupled with motorcades and rallies in the area of Vulindlela. Every two days a bus would be dispatched to campaign in Vulindlela, he said.

For the May 18 local government elections, said Zuma, the ANC took a subtle approach to vote canvassing.

“On a daily basis we would campaign in Vulindlela … we would target the undecided voters. We knew before the elections which households would vote for us and that we would win,” said Zuma.

Another key was the announcement by the Msunduzi Municipality and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlements that the long-awaited 25 000 housing units for the area would be fast-tracked.

Political turf battles between the municipality and the national department had — according to a municipal report tabled in front of the full council a few months ago — stalled the project since 2003. Residents told The Witness that they hope the development will now speed up.

IFP Member of Parliament (MP) and party chairperson in Umgungudlovu, Velaphi Ndlovu, said that the internal problems within the party and the National Freedom Party contributed to the IFP’s dismal polls in Vulindlela. This, however, said Ndlovu, does not mean the IFP is finished in Msunduzi. “We are knocked down, but not knocked out,” said Ndlovu.

Although the NFP took votes from the IFP, the NFP and IFP combined polled fewer votes in the area than the ANC, an analysis of voting figures showed.

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