Battle for the cities

2011-05-15 21:24

Johannesburg - The election on Wednesday is a battle for the cities. It will go down to the wire in Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth), with possible swings in Johannesburg and Tshwane.

Power in the cities is power over the economic and political core, and consolidates political muscle ahead of the 2014 general elections.

A Markinor poll released on Saturday showed that 52% of respondents would definitely vote for the ANC, with 10% suggesting they might do so.

The 62% suggests a drop of about 5 percentage points for the governing party on the 2006 local election result.

In the DA’s corner, 17% of respondents said they would definitely tick for the opposition, while a further 9% said they might do so, giving the party a potential total of 26% - double the 13.9% poll outcome in 2006.

The poll will be won or lost in the cities.

It is the first electoral test of the new-look, post-Polokwane ANC and how it has wielded power in all but one of the metros.

Infrastructure, jobs and crime are the top three issues, says Markinor’s Mari Harris.


Cape Town, the only metro not held by the ANC, will be the first electoral test of DA rule.

It measures the ability of its leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille to hold the city without a coalition.

Johannesburg is a key test of her flirtation with the black vote.

The next big city battle is Nelson Mandela Bay, a municipality named for the founding father in the ANC’s symbolic heartland.

It does not want to lose the metro, but at the time of writing, a coalition council comprising the DA and Cope was likely.

“Many councils hang in the balance,” Zille said in Khayelitsha on Saturday.

 “These include the major urban centres of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Port Elizabeth.”

Zuma told City Press on Friday that he was “confident” that his party would not only hold its existing metros, but close down the DA in Cape Town. 

  • BigMoose - 2011-05-15 21:31

    Zuma, you are in for a nasty surprise.

      Larro - 2011-05-16 08:34

      @Big Moose - sorry I don't think so. Zuma and his crew are banking on votes from those who believe in the Tokoloshe, showers preventing AIDS, ancestors somehow influencing the living and who never read a newspaper. Let's face it, if they believe that primitive rubbish the ANC line 'vote for us and we promise we'll fix everthing' is quite credible - despite the litany of lies, avoidance and broken promises.

      craig - 2011-05-16 09:21

      So true! we are outnumbered by the uneducated and ignorant. "cos da ancetas will be very engry wit us"

      v3 - 2011-05-16 12:22

      The one definite prediction one can make is that Zuma's problems start on May 19:- Whether metros are won or lost, he will be the first ANC prez to lead over an electoral decline. He will have to deal with firing successful candidates where he promised by-elections He will have to deal with other losing candidates. The need to paper over the cracks - unity for the elections - will be over. His past leadership failures will catch up with him. 100% certainty

  • Bluefairy1 - 2011-05-15 21:46

    @ BigMoose the uneducated will be true to the ANC and they unfortunately hold the most votes... Like sheep they will follow into the fire pits... Corruption is the key word to this matter and once again it shall prevail... This is Africa...

      Phlegm - 2011-05-15 22:33

      Bluefairy: so if I understand you correctly educated people vote for the DA and uneducated people vote ANC? The majority of the country is uneducated? And are therefore incapable of voting for any other party but the ANC? Well then, lets braai and not vote on the 18th, according to you the ANC has it in the bag anyway so lets not waste our time voting, or if you want to vote, vote ANC, they are going to win anyway, right? I certainly hope you are not advising any of the opposition parties on their election campaigns, under your logic they should rather give up and drink their election money.

      Carlos - 2011-05-15 22:35

      here in Portugal is equal not only in africa

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-05-15 22:39

      Could you rephrase that carlos?

      gksa - 2011-05-15 22:52

      They hold the most votes, perhaps... but will they bother showing up?

      katmag88 - 2011-05-16 08:22

      @bluefairy1, I reject the insinuation that black people are uneducated. I am a very educated black individual who has been researching the political parties that might get my vote on wednesday, even if my vote goes the ANC way it will be a well thought decision. Who ever said that not having formal education means you are unable to reason and comprehend? If I remember correctly it was these 'uneducated' people that brought about the fall of the evil that was apartheid.

      craig - 2011-05-16 09:31

      katmag88, well let’s see, zuma believes showering can cure you from hiv, he and his ministers are openly corrupt, zuma himself escaped multiple convictions everything from rape to corruption, tenders are awarded to anc family members and friends and nobody cares about the poor and middle class. Now come election day and he still manages to fill up stadiums with promises ranging from going to heaven, pleasing the ancestors and looking after the poor who live in filth and poverty (the same cr@p they have been saying since mandela left office). And then theres Malema the most racist and ignorant of them all. Ya the anc voter is surely intelligent - 2011-05-16 10:31

      OK katmag, if you've decided to research your choice please tell us what you have found on the role of opposition in a democracy??

      maseratifitt - 2011-05-16 20:19

      "it was these 'uneducated' people that brought about the fall of the evil that was apartheid". Wrong, katmag88. The uneducated always follows like sheep. It was the civilized world, combined with the local leadership of FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela that brought an end to apartheid. Education remains the key to civilized progress.

  • Cassim MF - 2011-05-15 22:55

    I believe that even though COPE started very late and with hardly any resources, it will play a king maker's role in several places. COPE has not been involved in mud raking and this will help.I personally believe that all party governments may be the very best way forward. People need delivery, not triumphalism or endless bickering.

      Old Nick - 2011-05-17 23:28

      The only reason why COPE has not been 'mud racking' as you put it is because it's leaders have been trying to destroy each other....and you want to cast a vote for these buffoons... please, catch a wake up, COPE are the experts at bickering. COPE couldn't agree on finding the way out of a paper can you expect it to run a municipality, let alone a country.

  • - 2011-05-16 08:01

    @ everyone, the first edition of the online publication WeCanDoBetter has just been released. We have some very interesting articles included. If you would like to comment more comprehensively on issues such as this submit an article with us. Visit the site:

  • - 2011-05-16 08:35

    Look what your ANC has done for our country. These statistics will SHOCK you. Spread the video around before 18 May!!! Like it's author, I don't care who you vote for - as long as it's not the ANC. The only reason a lot of people will be voting DA is because it's the only REAL opposition to the ANC - it has nothing to do with black vs white, so get your heads out your racist a55es and smell these statistics!!!

      Patience - 2011-05-16 23:26

      A grim picture: - compiled by an unemployed Black South African. Well done!

  • Yasr - 2011-05-16 09:51

    I cant say about the general elections. But for the up-coming polls I will make my mark next to Tony. Patricia came up on a working class ticket, a demographic she now shows little more than abandon. Just because the money in the Western Cape is not being stolen does not mean its being allocated where it is needed most. Our taxes still get distributed in a manner highly skewed to the upper / middle class. Tony Tony his my man. All this (Mandela / Zimbabwe / ANC gevaar) stupidity aside. Toni will do better than Patricia, especially to my people, so I am voting Tony. How do I know this, Tony is a good guy, loyal to the people he represents. Patricia road on a working class ticket for most of her life, and has decided to throw them one side and try to ride on (my / middle class) ticket. She can go fly a kite. Now that is how you make an educated decision. Isolate two decision outcomes:(your candidates).Establish each ones risk, volatility and expected payoff. Based on the expected outcome of both candidates choose one that suites your needs. As a middle class citizen I need the working class (whose neighborhood is separated from mine by one road) to be uplifted. In order to reap a reward from my imperial study I need to make some assumptions. > Peoples lives are improving since the ANC has been in power (check) > Corrupt politicians are a given (check) I am voting ANC, and I am more educated than both Patricia or Tony. - 2011-05-16 10:17

      You clearly are not educated enough to understand the finer workings of democracy. Not only is it a complete failure when one party has a majority that exceeds 66%, it is also extremely foolish of the public to think they can then hold their leaders to account. This aside, no other candidate will turn the growing economy of the Cape into a basket case quicker than your beloved Tony. The policies he calls for will all but dry up any foreign investment. Funhy how every other educated commentator realises that the problems we face cannot be done on the resources we have alone, but will need some creative methods to draw investment and in turn employment into the region to uplift EVERYONE! Informed decision?? Aikona....

      AmandaWhereTo - 2011-05-16 12:29

      It's not merely how educated you are, but how you have used and interpreted that education. I have seen many self confessed mental giants say the most fundamentally stupid things. Things that I would have laughed at when I was in primary school. Let's use you for example: You have used the "middle class policies premise" as I call it for stating that the DA hasn't convinced you. But NO WHERE have you attempted to mention a single policy and why it serves to only benefit the middle class and oppress the lower. If you were PROPERLY educated you would know that you need to support every premise with evidence. you stated that "Tony is a good guy". Is this really all you can come up with? Have you met him and know him personally? Nope. That's truly pathetic. I can then counter with "Helen is a nice aunty". It holds as much credibility. "Peoples lives have improved under ANC rule" 1) Please give proof. 2) If you looked at the stats and facts you will notice the something as basic as the life expectancy of the black population has almost halved since the ANC came to power. 3) What level of improvement? If they have improved people lives by x amount, but another party can do it by x10, then they are still useless. Your argument is 100% subjective with absolutely no common sense. Using fancy terms like "decision outcome" doesn't make you clever. I hope you kept the receipt for your 'education'.

      Crazy Ivan - 2011-05-16 19:40

      @Yasr Your an uneducated idiot. Education means very little without the ability to think CRITICALLY. Your argument is subjective in totality, this means you base your decision on NO FACT at all...thats like believing the world is flat all because the horizon flat, come on REALLY Yasr???? Heres an example: "Toni will do better than Patricia, especially to my people, so I am voting Tony." How do you know this? Go live in Johies and then come to CT and see the difference in service delivery...CT outshines all of them, the ANC dosent have 1 example close to it! inyaniso makes a good argument, you value your job right Yasr?You want to provide for your family right? Well, you wont have a job if SA turns into another Zim, ask any Zimbabwean I dare you!The scarey thing is there isnt anywhere left to run when things do go pear shaped SO start making decisions for your future, NOT from your heart. Your definition of an educated decision is well founded, however you havent taken into account the correct values. DA: ANC: Volatility: Low High(everyone turns on eachother) Payoff: Service delivery Corruption & promises proven proven Risk: Low High (encourage economic (legislate against it, Malema, growth) nationalization etc) How on earth did you put the ANC on top??? No educated decision here...

      maseratifitt - 2011-05-16 20:26

      Good grief. Good golly. Shame.

  • Yasr - 2011-05-16 11:11

    Sure, while the EU just instituted their first double duty on Chinese paper we should open up to Walmart without setting any governing parameters. Do you realize the only economies not totally raped by Walmart (USA included) are those such as Germany... Because of their strong union negotiations before entry was allowed. Perhaps your action is the support of hydrofracking? No, I refuse to believe you could be that dumb. The US is about to hit its $14.3 trillion debt limit, it, ensuring a contraction that will push it into a double-dip recession. Foreign investment seems to be working well for them eh? Unless they find a loophole to justify monetary expansion. If that happens they can keep their i-rate at basically zero and pump PULLED OUT OF THEIR ASS new money straight into our economy with its less interventional interest rates all the while having that stupid hag of theirs saying how "emerging economies need to be careful not to PUSH OUR OWN? Economies into hyper drive as it will increase inflation exponentially. But who knows what you are talking about, you never really said much. You are aware of that right?

      Ed - 2011-05-16 12:38

      all very nice in a perfect world and you are a perfect example of how a bird can be taught to say anything you please...problem is that it is all regurgitated. check your boxes or whatever it is you do to make yourself feel better. to me, the fact remains that the rest of the world is growing around us. we are far behind. look at angola. they had NO infrastructure, much higher poverty levels and a society that had been ravaged and split by a 20yr plus civil war. yet they are somehow going to manage 6% growth this year, do more to route corruption and do away with as much red-tape as possible to allow foreign investment. The total opposite of what is happening here. Here is another fact for you...well a couple. It is now May and schoolkids, the ones who need it the most, have still not got any stationery or food in the E.Cape, 3 months after National Government was called-in to fix the problem. Over 50% of RDP funds are still not been spent, and it is estimated that nearly 40% of those funds that are spent, are paid to comrades and cadres before been spent. Nearly 1000 babies a year die on Mt Frere Hospital every year...3 years after the Cabinet Minister went there and vowed to have the rate reduced to zero. The hospital has still not received ANY new ventilators! soon as you start accepting the fact that corruption is ok because 'it happens everywhere', is the time when you need to look into the mirror and ask yourself about what kind of person you are....

      Ed - 2011-05-16 12:49 need to ask yourself if maybe the standards you set, are too low. in your case they are. just because corruption does happen, doe sit mean that it is ok for it to happen here? no it isnt...especially when over 80% of aid that is givern to africa every year disappears because of corruption. especially when we are dealing with such high poverty and unemployment levels here in SA. as far as i am concerned yasr, you are the worst of the worst. you are happy to know that their is curruption, just as the government is ok with it. when we have a government minister who flies overseas to see his girlfriend who is in prison because she was a drug dealer on an SAA flight, yet despite the fact that he admits that he did it, nothing happens. when we have cheryl cwele convicted of drug dealing last week and she gets to keep her job and go on paid leave so that she can keep her job, we have a problem. evil triumphs when good people stand aside and do nothing. it is time for people to start standing-up and doing something because the kind of mediocrity that you seem to be ok with now, is the start of a long and slow downward slide. get real, wake-up yasr...look at what is really happening out there and realise that 'the tipping point' may not be far off.

  • Ed - 2011-05-16 12:50

    • Nationalisation... prior to us ‘colonists’ coming to Africa, which was round about the same time that most African tribes (other than the KhoiSan) arrived, African culture had no want for materials such as gold, diamonds, silver, uranium, manganese etc. Please explain to me how it is that us ‘colonists’ were then able to steal this wealth? That is a minor fact though...effectively during all this Nationalisation talk, SA has slipped down the global mine investment rankings. We are now holding the bottom of the log-up. Countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Guinea, Chile etc are all FAR ahead of us. While the President dithers on the topic, he cannot promise job creation. We need foreign investment for job creation. • Cheryl Cwele! Wow...the ANC is now allowing this woman to keep her job as a civil servant and allowed paid leave while she appeals her DRUG CONVICTION. That is sick and inexcusable. This woman has been convicted of drug dealing. She should be kicked-out of the ANC. She should now be building toilet walls in Viljoenskroon. • Sicelo Shiceka...he used my money to go and visit his drug dealing SAA girlfriend in Switzerland. He still has his job because the President feels sorry for him. There is no excuse. • is it that 5 months after the school year has started, children still have no stationary or food? You cannot learn on an empty stomach...ask Khulubuse Zuma. From what I remember, the local education mampara’s were so useless as organising things that Angie Motschega called in the provincial mampara’s to deal with our crisis. Fat good that did. Whoever the mampara is of education (I have forgotten the idiots name as I am hungry), he should be fired. Without educated children who can think for themselves, the country is doomed. Education creates entrepreneurs. We need them to grow the economy and provide employment. • ANC election it just me who thinks of Barry White whenever they see the Presidents facial expression in his billboards? One other aspect that the ANC and its supporters seriously need to give consideration to is our current electoral and political system. We cannot have a system where elected officials are also civil servants. Not to the degree that we have here in SA. Effectively, come election time, NO WORK will be done and no decisions will be made in the country. Effectively, for a two month period, all our ANC officials are on the campaign trail. That is wrong in so many ways. Other than lost productivity (Billions upon Billions) and lost service delivery, I do not believe it right that I should pay civil servants who are party members, to be on the campaign trail. All parties still have time till the elections to use tactics that may finally sway their supporters. My wish is that the ANC will stop resorting to scare tactics. MY wish is that they will once again be the party to vote for because they stand for what they used to speak about. That being a better life for all and that to ensure that there is never again White or Black oppression in this beautiful land of ours. Until I hear that I am rather going to stick to watching the Naked News as their news is far more believable than what I am currently hearing.

      Old Nick - 2011-05-17 23:30

      Too many words....makes my head hurt....Oh god there's more...

  • Ed - 2011-05-16 12:51

    • Mayor...who is PE’s mayor? At a recent breakfast I attended I saw a paid municipal employee, Mr Williams, jump to attention and run to our previous Mayor, every-time Mr Faku snapped his fingers. He actually either snapped or waved his fingers! Shocking. Mr Faku, you are no longer the Mayor of the Metro, get that into your head...Mr Wayile, I believe, is. Mr Wayile, push the dinosaur aside and govern this metro. I believe that you can and would gladly support any move for you to do so. • Mr increase in the HDI from 0.64 to 0.66 is a move of 2 points and NOT 3 as you stated. Seriously, is that how bad your Maths is? You also mention that the Metro has doubled its budget for various upgrades, housing etc. The problem is that you can increase this to whatever amount you wish, if it is not spent, it matters not. FACT: It is currently NOT getting spent. Also...from what I reliably know, there are not many commercial banking institutions that will lend to the city anymore as it no longer has an A+ credit rating. Maybe its credit rating with ANC cadres is good. • Mlibo dare you say that the ANC hosted the World Cup. You may as well say that you hosted it yourself. From what I remember, FIFA effectively took over the country for 2 months. During that period, crime dropped by 85% and because of FIFA management, all stadiums were built on time. The ANC had nothing to do with the World Cup. Do not lie. • Freedom Of Speech...Cadres continuously complain about how the press portrays them in a bad light and ‘their’ side of the story never gets heard. How then is it that Mr Ngqondi has had a letter or article published just about every day for the past 2 months? I know that that must hurt Roland, as he is also always the first to complain about press bias. It is simple...if you routed-out corruption or did good, the press would be good to you. I do not know of many times that the ANC has sued the press and won due to the facts been misconstrued.

      Old Nick - 2011-05-17 23:31

      Oh no ....more words .....

  • Ed - 2011-05-16 12:51

    I can only vote on principle and over the past couple of months, the ruling party has effectively lost my vote. It is not that I favour the DA, Cope or anybody else, not at all. It is just that over the past couple of months, everybody from The President to Gift Ngqondi, Mlibo Qoboshiyane and M Sicwetsha have done their best to blatantly lie to the electorate so as to cajole them into voting for a party that has effectively failed in its mandate and delivered FAR BELOW what it has always promised. Who cares what it has done...if you average out the number of houses (without defects) that have been built per annum, it has not come close to its mandate. What scares me even more though is how the ruling party has gone out of its way to intimidate its voters, those who do not wish to vote for it, or the opposition. This is all factual and no amount of BS from any ANC member can skirt this issue. Examples of this are: • President Zuma (Lichtenburg 12.05) ‘ The ancestors will turn their votes on you’. He then went on to say that a vote for any other party ‘is a wasted vote’. (this is just one of the times he has threatened that, together with threats of causing Madiba’s death if people vote for the opposition). Mr Zuma, are you that short-sighted to not realise that one sign of a healthy and vibrant democracy, is a strong opposition. The opposite of that is a one-party state, which is what the ANC is now advocating. • Juju (Kimberley 08.05) ‘White people are criminals and should ALL be treated like that.’ Our spineless President sat there and did not rebuke him. It was left up to the admirable Mr Motlanthe to apologise. • If the ANC is not criticising Whites or Coloureds, all ANC cadre’s have been using religion to get at their electorate. The last group to do so was the Nazi Party...hmm, could there be a connection? Other examples of where I believe the ANC is blatantly misleading its electorate and South African citizens, or doing wrong in the metro and nationally are:

      Old Nick - 2011-05-17 23:37

      At last......Jeez Ed, you're probably right (couldn't read it all...too much).... I just hope you don't take so long to make your cross in the DA box tomorrow. Just remember, less is more especially when your dealing with morons, if struggled with all these words of yours, then I assure you the ones that should read your comment simply won't bother. Hope you have a short queue and fine weather.

  • fatima seedat - 2011-05-16 14:20

    For all your education Yasr your last comment just shows how ignorant u really are.The present ANC is a shame to all those brave men and women who gave their lives for our democracy.I will never ever vote ANC again.

      maseratifitt - 2011-05-16 20:10

      If fatima and Koos were two different political parties I would have no hesitation in voting for fatima. Much more civilized.

  • - 2011-05-16 15:36

    @ everyone, the first edition of the online publication WeCanDoBetter has just been released. We have some very interesting articles included. If you would like to comment more comprehensively on issues such as this submit an article with us. Visit the site:

  • PikeLee - 2011-05-16 15:38

    GO DA!!!!!

  • Yasr - 2011-05-16 15:49

    Welcome Fatima, to this loaded dice game. Hope to see much more of your gentle composure, and may your strength and conviction remain untarnished. Cast your mark as you choose. Tony is still the fairer of the two.

  • maseratifitt - 2011-05-16 19:52

    After this election we must take the next step towards democracy. Municipalities must be depoliticized. No political party should play any role in the election of Municipal officials. After that, we must get rid of the divisive, self seeking Party system altogether, and the electoral system must be modernised to promote effective governance and meaningful democracy.

  • take that - 2011-05-16 20:49

    Interesting comments about education or rather lacck of it. This election has been turned to a delievery election by the ANC and they have done so unwittingly. I work with the so called uneducated blacks and these guys have just seen the lies being peddled by the so-called pples party the ANC. I bet my last dollar or rather rand that the ANC is in for a huge surprise. PPle have been attending their rallies for the free T-shirts and food but most of then dont even intend to vote. In some places there will be massive boycott/aparthy. I'm going to vote DA and i'm as black as they come. Viva DA, Down with the corrupt, tenderprenuers, and Hate inciters. Us the pple will speak on the 18th.

      maseratifitt - 2011-05-16 21:29

      I like that,take that. But every time I get excited about progress I remember that the chief of the ANC appointed the chief of the IEC, and they count the votes. They've got about 47 million extra ballot papers and about 750 000 extra I.D.'s to play with, mugabe style. Nevertheless, I will do my thing on Wednesday. My vote is no secret: DA !!

  • supporter - 2011-05-17 08:54

    all of a sudden, potholes in Three rivers in Vereeniging are filled with who knows what. In the past three years of complaining, nothing got done. Wonder why????????????????????????????????

  • Yasr - 2011-05-17 09:09

    Just to make the opposition strong! If I here that reason one more time I will vomit. If you don't support a parties stance, don't vote for it. (A random comment which has little to do with this article)

      Reason - 2011-05-17 10:00

      I have been following this debate regarding the educated and uneducated and how each category will vote and influence our futures. The educated voted for about 4 decades to keep a status quo that was wrong and yet they are now the majority in accusing the present uneducated of being foolish in keeping the present government in power.Perhaps it is a case of better the devil you know than the one you don't and this kind of reaction is a human phenomenon, cutting across the racial lines.I agree with a reader who mentioned that the ANC is not a race and yet the people who comment on issues pertaining to everyday issues cannot get away from this racial obsession. I therefore conclude that all of you who slate one another based on race are wrong and misguided. Remember that all politicians irrespective of race or sex have propencity or an inclination to become corrupt if they are in power long enough and this corrupt attitude is accelerated if there is absolute power which is the case with the ANC and was the case with the NP. Perhaps we should read between the lines as one reader mentioned and perhaps consider that the ANC realises that even though they have political control, they not necessary have economic control and is rushing to achieve a form of economic power by establishing a black elite to counter the control of the white elite that has the power at this moment in time and for some time to come. I am not affiliated to any party, but will hopefully make an informed choice - 2011-05-17 11:48

      Well get your throw up bag ready then Yasr. The ONLY way a democracy works is if there are at least 2 parties who can hold one another accountable and that will have to prove to the public that they deserve their vote in order to serve them. A one party state ALWAYS leads to having a dictator. There is not one single country in Africa or elsewhere that has successfully managed to deliver for all its people under a dictator!

  • Old Nick - 2011-05-17 23:20

    A big concern are votes wasted on all the 'minor' parties. A principal I have always applied is that if I don't agree with the ruling party (and I don't) then vote for the most powerful alternative (the DA in this instance). Why are our ballot papers polluted with all these other nitwit parties that individually grab a tiny percentage of the votes but collectively rob the opposition of the vital votes which in many instances it needs to turn the tables and take over wards from the ANC and provide us with an essential robust opposition where it matters most. Consider some of these parties. COPE is an unmitgated disaster with two megalomaniacle leaders more intent on destroying each other than focussing on real issues. Most VF+ supporters (in the solitude of the polling booth)vote DA anyway...they should have followed Patricia's example long ago, alone they are nothing but they would certainly add value if they joined forces with the DA. Same goes for the UDM and the IFP..... And what is it with all these bloody Christian parties (5 of them)...can't these acursed god bothering buffoons agree on which brand of christianity is more politically correct. A vote for any of these parties is a vote wasted. At least a vote for the ANC is an honest attempt to keep them in power. Do the sensible thing tomorrow, if you really 'schmaak' the ANC then by all means vote for them. If not the don't waste your vote, vote DA. I am.

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