Battle for Nelson Mandela Bay hots up as parties count down to elections

2016-08-01 21:13

Port Elizabeth – With little more than 24 hours to the elections, political parties are pulling out all the stops in the battle for Nelson Mandela Bay.

On Monday, the municipality's Mayor Danny Jordaan visited Uitenhage where he met with former DA councillor Kenneth Koll who joined the ANC on Saturday.

The mayor also visited wards 48 and 49 in Uitenhage, where residents poured out their hearts to him.

Courting voters, going door to door and shaking hands, he introduced councillor candidate Brian Salters to the community.

Resident Marie Brinkhuis, who asked for a T-shirt before speaking to the mayor, told him of problems with her old electricity box, as well as cracks on the walls.

"The windows are loose and rattle," the 80-year-old told Jordaan.

ANC supporter 'back home'

Supporters sang, danced and waved T-shirts as Jordaan and Salters talked to the young and the old, reminding them to vote for the ANC at the polls on August 3.

Supporter Natasha Mckenzie took off her Patriotic Alliance T-shirt and stomped on it.

The 27-year-old donned her new ANC T-shirt with pride and said she had betrayed her family by joining the PA, and "was back home".

Meanwhile, a taxi driver that sped down the road while the ANC was campaigning was reprimanded for endangering lives.

Uncedo Taxi Association's Andile Andries, who was part of Jordaan's campaign, said the taxi driver would be reported to the relevant authorities after he bumped one of the supporters in his rush to get past the gathered crowd.

Nineteen parties will be contesting in Nelson Mandela Bay, and they all want a piece of the pie. 

Residents behind independent candidate

The United Front, led by former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Zanoxolo Wayile, held public meetings and mobilisation campaigns in various areas of the city on Monday.

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This follows the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa's endorsement of UF candidates on Sunday and a call for workers to vote out the ANC at the polls.

Democratic Alliance mayoral candidate Athol Trollip visited voting stations in the area, followed by party members in their traditional blue T-shirts waving placards with DA candidates' faces.

One of his stops was Ward 41, where residents have thrown their weight behind an independent candidate who left the ANC when he was "sidelined" for the councillor position.

Residents gathered outside the Despatch Primary School said they were more likely to vote for the independent candidate, former ANC councillor Mbongeni Bungane, because of all the work he had done for the community.

Bungane leads Nelson Mandela Bay's biggest ward, Ward 41, which covers Joe Slovo, Chatty Extension and Booysen Park.

Read more on: united front  |  da  |  anc  |  athol trollip  |  danny jordaan  |  port elizabeth  |  local elections 2016