Keep your ward blue, DA leader John Steenhuisen tells voters ahead of by-elections

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John Steenhuisen addressing the Cape Town Press Club.
John Steenhuisen addressing the Cape Town Press Club.
Jan Gerber, News24
  • Ahead of this week's municipal by-elections, DA leader John Steenhuisen says the party's renewed leadership will ensure clean governance in local councils. 
  • Steenhuisen believes the DA is the only party "large enough and strong enough to topple ANC-led governments".
  • By-elections will be held in 56 municipalities in all nine provinces.

Newly elected DA leader John Steenhuisen has called on voters to keep municipalities "blue" now that the party has ushered in "renewed leadership".

Recently, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) announced that by-elections set for Wednesday would take place at 461 voting districts in 56 municipalities across SA. A total of 600 000 registered voters would be affected.

READ | Show must go on: IEC says 2021 municipal elections on track

The by-elections were postponed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.In a statement issued on Monday, Steenhuisen said it was crucial that residents voted on Wednesday to help bring about the change.

He said:

We can only do this by voting in a party with a proven track record in government and the necessary networks and support systems to formulate sound governments. At least four by-elections will be held in every province this coming Wednesday, with the fate of 12 municipalities hanging in the balance. Now that the DA has renewed leadership which has brought about stability, unity, and policy-led focus, I would like to call on voters across the country to vote DA to bring in clean, capable, and efficient blue governments across South Africa.

He said all South Africans have an obligation to play their part in the by-elections.

"If you make a plan no and prepare in advance to get to the polls in your ward on Wednesday, you will be ready to participate and play your part in this crucial local democratic moment.

"I want to urge residents not to vote for independent candidates or smaller parties as this will only splinter and divide municipal councils across the country and usher in political instability which will paralyse services," he said.

ALSO READ ANC and DA's problems have levelled the playing field for new parties - analyst

Steenhuisen said only the DA was "large enough and strong enough to topple ANC-led governments".

The IEC intends to clear the backlog of all outstanding by-elections simultaneously on 11 November.

This, after none were held since March 2020, following the imposition of lockdown restrictions.Since then, 96 ward vacancies in 56 municipalities have occurred, including two dissolved councils in the Northern Cape where proportional representation (PR) candidates must also be elected (nine PR seats in Phokwane and three in Renosterberg).

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