PAC still soldiering on

2016-08-05 18:10
The PAC’s Sabelo Sibanda and fellow party members are studying election results. (News24)

Cape Town - The Pan Africanist Congress was still waiting for the results of two wards in Paarl on Friday after a municipal election that showed they still had some support.

The party's Sabelo Sibanda and fellow party members were poring over results, questioning the outcome of the Paarl wards.

The party is holding off on declaring the elections free and fair until they have studied the results properly, he said.

On Thursday, Sibanda said that the party was pleased with its performance, but felt that it was not easy for a smaller party to contest elections.

Political parties needed to have full coffers to campaign, he said, otherwise it was difficult to go into battle with the giants.

"The amount of money the ANC and DA spent on one of those big posters can buy a shack in Philippi or Delft," said Sibanda.

Leadership dispute

"The money spent on the sound systems they use for their campaigns can buy an even better house," he said.

"Smaller parties have to be able to properly fund their activities. Free and fair elections are not only about what happens on voting day. It is more so about the environment before voting day," he said.

The PAC almost did not contest the elections, thanks to a leadership dispute that led to the IEC asking for clarity on who the party leader is.

Luthando Mbinda had obtained an order from the High Court in Pretoria ruling that, for the purposes of the election, Mbinda could contest, although this was not a pronouncement on the leadership itself.

Raising the money to campaign could also lead to parties compromising their values, Sibanda continued.

"That is why they are so against telling us who gives them money."

Campaigning for land

The party, which was founded by Robert Sobukwe, has a strong Black Consciousness ethos, and campaigns for the improvement of conditions for the poor, which it believes are mostly black Africans.

It is particularly aggrieved by the living conditions of many black people who have to live in shacks.

"We campaign for land, but we are not talking about farms. We are talking about a place to build a house, a place to start a business, where children can play without being in the streets and getting run over," he said.

It was not immediately clear whether Economic Freedom Fighters breakaway Black First Land First's endorsement of parties aligned with Black Consciousness paid off for the PAC.

Although the PAC's percentages were low, in comparison with the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance, provisional results early on Friday afternoon showed that it has received 13 564 (0.38%) votes in the Eastern Cape. So far, in Mpumalanga it is on 0.19% and 0.42% in Limpopo. Other results were still to be posted.

The results are expected to be declared on Saturday.

- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.

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