Preps for polls in full swing in Pretoria
PRETORIA, (CAJ News) – DOOR-to-door campaigns by the opposition, an eager wait for the ruling party’s manifesto and enthusiasm among the student movements, rival parties are bracing up for crucial 2016 municipal elections set for the capital city, Pretoria.
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) are the frontrunners but the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are the dark horses.
ANC is bullish as the build-up to the poll gathers momentum.
Tebogo Joala, the ANC spokesperson for Pretoria says his party’s preparations are “at an advanced stage.”
“We are just waiting for the national manifesto to be announced on 15 April and thereafter dovetail our provincial one to suit the dictates of the national agenda. As usual, we are going to win the elections because we are a party of choice for the majority of South Africans,” says Joala.
“The selection of ward councilors who will represent the party has started and we will continue our mandate to undermine some colonial injustices and deliver service to our people,” he says.
The ANC Tshwane supremo says the party has developed Tshwane into one of the most advanced cities and he thus does not project any party challenging them in the capital.
“We still continue to enjoy the support from the majority of our citizens because we are a party of choice as I alluded before. We are still tackling poverty, unemployment and inequality that was brought about by apartheid,” says Joala.
“In that regard I tell you that the ANC has made so many innovations in the city of Tshwane like offering free Wi-Fi to its residents, resurfacing poor roads especially in the marginalized townships, building sports facilities and libraries and maintaining safety and security for the people.”
DA are mounting a brave challenge.
The party has embarked on door-to-door visits for its Mayoral candidate, Solly Msimanga, who is hopeful of wrestling power from incumbent, Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
“We are on course to making history by defeating ANC in the capital,” an upbeat Msimanga says.
“We are doing our homework well and we are on course for victory. DA is making significant strides in terms of support base and results have shown that we have gained more ground in the previously ANC-dominated areas.”
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) student leader in Pretoria, Amla Monageng, believes the young party will turn the tables against its more formidable rivals.
“Our party represents the youths and their suffering. It is also the party that has a solution for their problems,” says Monageng.
“We are confident of winning in the Municipal elections and take control of major cities,” he says.
Being the capital city, Pretoria is seen as one of the most crucial regions in local politics.
In the last municipal elections held in the city, ANC won 118 of a total of 210 seats to DA’s 82. The smaller parties shared the rest. EFF, formed two years later, did not contest.
Elections would be held at a date yet to be announced but constitutionally, falling between May 18 and August 16.
– CAJ News
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