THE Democratic Alliance retained Ward 33 following the by-election on Wednesday, August 2, this after DA councillor Uraisha Haswell resigned.The DA candidate, Nkululeko Mkhize, is still to be sworn in as the Ward 33 councillor.In his by-election manifesto, Mkhize promised to “fight for proper housing in Jika Joe, a mobile clinic to improve health care, transparent and efficient municipal projects that serve in the best interest of residents”.Mkhize’s manifesto also undertook to ensure the area has a new community hall, more recreational facilities and constant and proper maintenance of the ward infrastructure.The KZN DA deputy leader Megan Chetty said: “Firstly, we are humbled by the confidence shown by the residents of Ward 33 for rewarding us by keeping Ward 33 with the DA with an increased majority.”He said the result is a clear indication that normal South Africans, not only in Ward 33, but throughout the country, have lost faith in the ANC and regard the DA as the only hope to save the country.Chetty accused ANC MECs for finance, Cogta, Education and Human Settlements of abusing their power and state resources during electioneering ahead of the by-election. “It was similar to what they did in the previous election in Woodland, Ward 22. Voters have caught up with the ANC and their underhanded tactics when they distribute food parcels, blankets and [make] false promises on the eve of the elections, now they are punishing the ANC at the ballot boxes.” Chetty said the KZN MEC for Human Settlement, Ravi Pillay, failed to address the long standing concerns of Willow Gardens and Manor flat residents regarding title deeds and arrears debt and that the ANC had threatened residents with eviction.“These people are still afraid they might be evicted. Promises for housing in Jika Joe informal settlement are yet another political ploy similar to the promise made in Woodlands, Yellow Park.”He said the DA is of the view that the ANC-led Msunduzi Municipality is failing and the ward by-election results signal these failures are catching up with the ruling party.“The sooner residents rise up and remove the ANC from power only then will they receive better service delivery, adequate housing and more job opportunities,” Chetty said.He pledged his party will ensure it does not let the confidence of the electorate down. ANC Moses Mabhida regional spokesperson Siphamandla Khumalo said accusations made by the DA against the MECs are “cheap politicking by the party”.He said the MECs cannot be expected to suspend their duties and put service delivery on hold whenever there are elections or by-elections, but would continue to fulfil their obligations as MECs.Khumalo said there are several service delivery projects in Ward 33 which were initiated by the government long before the by-election which continue to be rolled out even after the election.Regarding Chetty’s claim that residents from Gardens and Manor flats had been threatened with eviction by the ANC, Khumalo said that is a blatant lie.“The municipality stated no decision would be taken for the time being while a verification process is under way. “No one was threatened with eviction, those are blatant lies,” he said.