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Opposition parties want to deliver kill shot to ‘wounded’ ANC in local elections

By reminding residents that it’s all about potholes, clean water and keeping the lights on.
A successful challenge to the IEC’s decision to reopen the candidate registration list would be fatal to the ANC’s campaign. Image: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

The Constitutional Court’s (ConCourt’s) ruling last week that local government elections must go ahead by November 1 has energised opposition parties and civic society who see an opportunity to deliver a kill shot to the ANC.

The court ruling was in response to an application by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) for the postponement of the elections on the grounds that free and fair elections could not be guaranteed due to the impact of Covid-19.

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On Monday (September 6), the IEC issued a statement saying it was complying with the ConCourt ruling, but that a new deadline would have to be set for candidate nominations.

“It is clear [that] there are different interpretations amongst parties as to whether the order of the Constitutional Court permits the commission to reopen nominations,” says the IEC. “The commission has taken advice on the matter and is of the view that amending the timetable to reopen nominations is reasonably necessary in the circumstances.”

The ANC failed to register candidates in 93 of the country’s 257 municipalities.

This would be fatal to its local government election campaign should the IEC be blocked from reopening the candidate registration list.

There are currently 77 970 candidates, 911 of whom are independent, contesting more than 10 500 municipal seats across the country.

DA plans to fight IEC’s move

The DA says the ConCourt ruling gave the IEC a revised election timetable in the form of a five-day delay, which the IEC has used to reopen the candidate registration process.

It says there was a clear deadline for candidate registration, which the ANC missed.

The IEC cannot be used by the ruling party to do its bidding, and any attempt to reopen the candidate registration process will be fought, says the DA.

Read: South Africa extends deadline to register election candidates (Sep 6)

“It cannot now demand a second bite at the cherry. This has never been granted before when other parties have requested leeway on an IEC deadline, resulting in the NFP’s total exclusion from the 2016 local election, and the IFP’s partial exclusion from certain wards in the 2011 election.

“What we saw today [Monday, September 6] gives the ANC an advantage that other parties have never enjoyed,” says the DA.

The ANC last week said it had indicated its intention to lodge an application with the IEC to amend the electoral timetable after a number of parties had failed to register all their candidates for local government elections. This failure was due to a combination of technical challenges on the IEC’s online candidate registration system and the pressure placed on candidate selection by restrictions on meetings to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some opposition parties smell blood.

“The ANC is wounded and people are fed up with years of cadre deployment and corruption at local government level,” says James Lorimer, the DA’s shadow minister of mines. He says the timing to unseat dysfunctional ANC-led municipalities has never been better.

‘Change must start at local government level’

Newly-formed civic society, the Azanian Independent Community Movement (AICM), is fighting six municipalities in North West province on a platform of getting rid of corrupt local councillors and restoring social justice and accountability to local government. Ultimately, it wants to build a nationwide movement that will contest dozens of municipalities in future elections.

“Our message is simple: it’s a war on potholes,” says Mandla Mpempe, one of the founders of AICM, and head of the Centre for Good Governance and Social Justice.

“We want clean water, a sewage system that works, we want the lights to stay on and we want to get rid of corrupt councillors.

“What we are demanding is what municipalities are supposed to provide but are not. That must change. If we are to bring change to SA, it must start at the local government level.”

Anger on the streets

King Sibiya, head of the Lungelo Lethu Human Rights Foundation, says the mood on the street in areas such as Soweto is angry, after years of deteriorating service delivery, and this will be preeminent in people’s minds come election day.

“We have a structural problem at local government level. We elect councillors and they very quickly step into line and see it as a job where they can draw a salary rather than represent the people who elected them.

“I know this because I have been there and it’s why I left local government. At some point when you challenge some budget spending item, you get pulled aside and told to toe the line,” says Sibiya.

“One of the projects we are working on is to train young people to be effective and accountable local government representatives.

“We have to get past this idea that one party or another is going to deliver freedom to us. It won’t happen. Let’s focus on those issues that we can influence, like electrical connections.”

He adds: “In Soweto, we have whole blocks being disconnected by Eskom even though people are paying their bills. This is blanket punishment, and there are old people who have had no power for a year.”

Action needed

Melanie Veness of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business says it defies belief that the local municipality can find R9 million in funding for the Maritzburg United football club but not for the fixing essential infrastructure like roads and electricity.

“The [nearby] Edendale area was one of the worst hit by the recent looting,” she says. “The shopping mall and most local shops were trashed, which means people now have to travel to Pietermaritzburg and other areas for groceries. The effect on this community has been devastating.

“We need a lot more civic action to get rid of inept and broken local government.”

There are civic movements across the country that are challenging local municipalities through the courts, or through ratepayer revolts. The upcoming local government elections present an opportunity to unseat those who delivered the country to what Ratings Afrika says is a R51 billion hole that must be filled.

Read:
Dissenting voice

However, not everyone is on board with the ConCourt’s ruling to compel the IEC to hold elections by November 1.Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) President Narius Moloto says the ConCourt “missed the critical point fundamental to the freeness and fairness of the elections, given the often almost impossible task of conducting political activities under these extreme restrictions, which have had a devastating effect on the poor and unemployed”.

“The implications of this judgment are that smaller political parties with limited budgets will not able to interact with their constituencies and their voters, due to the restrictive conditions prevailing at the time of the judgment, in particular the limit of 50 people for indoor and 100 people for outdoor political meetings.”

By implication, says Moloto, the Constitutional Court has endorsed the holding of local government elections under conditions that cannot be free and fair.

Judgment welcomed

ActionSA, the party founded by former DA mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, welcomed the IEC’s judgment and says it “stands ready to deliver inclusive and prosperous change to the metros of Gauteng and the people of KwaZulu-Natal in eThekwini, Newcastle, and KwaDukuza.”

It also says the IEC must work to reopen the Voters’ Roll until the very last possible moment.

“A failure to properly reopen the Voters’ Roll before the local government elections would disenfranchise many South Africans, predominantly young South Africans who became recently eligible,” says ActionSA in a statement.

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COMMENTS   48

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Interesting times we live in. I bet the ANC will slither out of this candidate nomination problem.

I am afraid the outcome of the election – provided it can happen at all with a semblance of legitimacy – will ensure more potholes , more chaos etc. Never overestimate the voters !

Concur — Everyone has the constitutional right to be stupid but a lot of people abuse the privilege !!

“Casper…

Concur — Everyone has the constitutional right to be stupid but a lot of people abuse the privilege !!”

Quote of the Year, Casper!

You made my day!

most reasoning voters don’t feel they have a good alternative. The ANC is basically imploding and the DA shot themselves in the face by a tone-deaf HZ being unable to stay off Twitter. unfortunately perception matters and the DA’s perceived alignment with conservative / right wing thinking will go down as a telling own goal in alienating the black vote. for now the ANC will remain power, with the EFF’s hyenas getting most of the wounded voters.

So you you reject a party “because Helen tweeted”

To quote Caspar:
Everyone has the constitutional right to be stupid but a lot of people abuse the privilege !!

Moneyweb restricting comments again!

One should say things like they are!

haha calling the DA right-wing. If the DA is right-wing then what is the VF plus? The DA is as centrist as you get

oh gawd you all shooting the messenger. relax trumpers. I personally have a lot of respect for HZ – she’s uncompromising, a straight shooter and runs a clean ship; but an absolute plonker on social media. her qualities are not going to show in the polls. neither does the academic argument of where the DA sits on the political spectrum matter; they are being perceived as leaning right. John Steenhuizen, good chief whip as he was, is about as inspiring as a slice of dry white bread. I will vote DA because I think they’re the only party that can deliver; but they should have been in a position to unseat the ANC whereas now we can only hope they will remain the official opposition….that’s just reality; deal with it.

Its a given that the ANC will win again. To put it simply : In South Africa – Blacks don’t vote for whites and whites dont vote for blacks. That is not about to change anytime soon. There simply are not enough whites to effect electoral outcomes and blacks are not ready yet to work with parties they deem to be too “white”. voters still engage in race politics. Until we can overcome that, don’t expect significant change.

Through sheer incompetence, infighting, corruption and disregard for the rule of law, the ANC is self administering its own kill shot to an already ‘wounded’ ANC.

The great deceiver and non diverer will soon be dead.

Change will only come when the average voter feels the pain of his poor judgement.

I have a gut feeling this time around that the anc did shoot it self in the foot quite on a number of occasions like the Alcohol Ban; more rolling blackouts; visible corruption and double standards. There is very little time to make up for lost ground, no world cup; no special event and almost no money.

Lets just hope that change will come soon than later or the common man along with every other South African will suffer until the change arises.

I agree, but don’t forget the R350 per month grant that some voters think comes from the ANC – conveniently extended to beyond the (what was to be delayed) municipal election date.

It is clear that the “Independent Electoral Commission” is anything but independent because in the past when other parties missed the deadlines, they didn’t reopen the registration process for them. But when it comes to the ANC then it is not a problem. One wonders if they will ever accept a result other than the ANC winning. The sooner the Western Cape becomes independent, the better.

When the ANC is just negligent, too arrogant, too laid back, apathetic and simply indifferent to an agreed process and when these typical traits of the ruling party gets exposed in public, Cyril simply sweeps this glaring fact under the carpet and justifies this uselessness with comments around “this is for democracy”.
To add insult to injury, the IEC just changes the rules of the game (and thereby condones such conduct) in mid air without batting an eye.

Just goes to show and prove that some parties are indeed more equal than others.

Mediocrity actively being supported in more ways than one.

Quite right

As the age old adage goes:

“Arrogance diminishes wisdom” and we’re all witness to the fact that the ANC possesses none and will never!

It’s going to be up to us , the tax payer, to change the Status Quo

The greatest coup of the “IEC” and ConCourt debacle is that the ANC and the MSM managed to make it look as though Helen Zille is the villain here. Meanwhile the completely rotten ANC gets a free pass, and the candidate registrations re-opened. Only in SA.

I agree Paul. I think the D A has a valid legal point but tactically, I think that they should stand back and let things happen. There will be less chance of the results being challenged as NOT being free and fair if the cANCer field their candidates. Ultimately, stupid or clever, every one must be able to vote for the candidate of their choice, much as I agree with many of the above comments!

Wishfull thinking. How do you change the mind of thousands of Zuma followers that got a free shopping spree for trying to free the man from his cage? The ANC is like a religion you may not like going to church but you go anyways, because the grandparents told you to. Change the mind of a religious person and you may have a chance.

DA as usually completely out of touch with reality. Too busy with twitter. They had their chance in Pretoria and jhb and proved to be as bad. Time to move on. Failed real estate agents cannot run a city any better than the ANC.

Bib/Bibby/Aonk is on fire today.

Imitation is something you learn from being around kids all day. Grow up. It is time to move on from school boet.

Bib/Bibby/Aonk,

You’ve had three of your aliases banned from this site. I think it’s time you grew up and moved on.

Don’t you have some children – who are better paid than you – to look after?

Dear fellow reader, the idea of democracy in Africa doesn’t work. Look at your average majority voter, someone who will vote whatever the village chief/ induna/ king tells them to vote. As the majority voters only need 33% to pass at school, surely you don’t expect them to connect the dots and vote for a better future for themself? Even squirrel was caught out on camera by telling an old gogo that white apartheid will come back if she doesn’t vote for the cANCer virus. I don’t like it at all to admit that zupta was right – the virus will rule until Jesus returns. Cry the beloved country.

@Koos, have a little faith. Successful elections have been held several times in Ghana and GDP is growing fast. We’ve just seen peaceful transfer of power in Zambia.

We would expect democracy to spread from South to North but it seems the wind changed direction and now it is heading to the South?

A pecimist is a optimist with experience.

pessimist. sorry!

@Sensei thanks for your great commentary and clear thinking.

It has also been said:

– Optimism doesn’t wait on facts…
– If you can’t give children optimism, then what are you doing?

TryingToRetire, thank you for your valued contributions. We should give our children optimism as you say.

I have these discussions with my children where we talk about economic and political realities and I always conclude with the idea that a business opportunity is merely the solution to an existing problem. There are many opportunities where there are many problems. The Shoprite success story proved that solving problems for relatively poor people can be very profitable indeed. ANC failures create new business opportunities around every corner, every day.

Career politicians are entrepreneurs who sell popular narratives and promises to consumers. Broadly speaking, they have a similar business model to clergymen. They tell you what you want to hear. That is why the Dutch Reformed Church could justify apartheid for so long, but that is off-topic now.

The average voter does not buy the expensive, sophisticated, and productive merchandise sold by the DA and FF+, they prefer the cheap, crude, and defective merchandise sold by the ANC and the EFF. ANC and EFF merchandise are cheap because voters don’t have to pay for the delivery of promises themselves. They receive everything for free. The delivery of promises is paid for by voters of the DA and FF+. The constitutional democracy enables ANC and EFF voters to live at the expense of DA and FF+ supporters.

The people are not stupid, they follow the incentives like a honeybadger follows bees. A honeybadger is able to survive the problems waiting for him at the beehive though. The promise of free honey is very tempting, and socialists will risk their lives for it because they don’t value their own lives much anyway.

Well summarised Sensei :
We now await the Manguang tea executives rebuttal.

Are you referring to A-Knob or Bloemfontein Top Excrement?

It’s time for Suren to drop the ban-hammer on Bib/Bibby/Aonk again.

This time block the IP address.

Reading this article, I always get amazed at how South Africans love power. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry wants to run their own political party instead of joining forces with similarly minded parties already in existence.
The ANC’s wings would have long been clipped if these “leaders” humbled themselves and formed a strong, united opposition instead of these “parties” that disappear after just one election!

If the ANC loses votes, to whom will they go? The ANC will still get to register their candidates. It just comes down to what alternatives communities have – ANC or ??.

Perhaps we’ll see the rise of independents that are community-based. It may work out well yet.

I am anxious though in that I do expect a lot of trouble though if the ANC loses seats both from them and the rivalling factions that fight for control and money in various areas. Time will tell if the election even goes off.

They didn’t register their candidates because they thought the elections would not go ahead…..luckily the courts decided otherwise…just the audacity!

Haha, you are living in yesterday. There is no way they would not be registered. Try and keep up.

Haha. Wait till the boomers get home and read the newspaper.

how is this statement working out for you now that you have finally read the news from 2 days ago?

Lol – the quality of the ‘well informed’ moneywebers.

The other political parties have their issues also 🙂

Locally the ANC has performed poorly, but it has some very good leaders at the top like Pres. Ramaphosa.

The DA does a good job at munivipal level but poor at the top.

The usual.

Jhb and Pretoria will disagree with you. Strongly. What a failure.

“The Opposition Parties want to deliver the kill-shot to a wounded ANC…”

This bunch of assorted dreamers, snowflakes, and con-artist pretenders have illusions of replacing the current regime of kleptomaniacs and con-artists?

ROFL!

I fully agree that governance must start at a LOCAL level, and work outwards from there.

But it’s NOT enough to just have “the cleanest kitchen in the neighbourhood “.

That is certainly a necessary minimal requirement. But a kitchen that cannot deliver DELICIOUS food is doomed from the get-go!

And THAT magical difference comes from having a VISIONARY cook in the kitchen who can slap a superb meal together with the “ingredients-at-hand”.

This is THE talent that separates a “real chef” from the myriad wannabes.

The PARALLEL key requirement for the success of a kitchen, is the marketing of its food.

You have to “sell the sizzle.”

Unfortunately, too many politicians think you only need “the sizzle”, and can substitute this for pushing indifferent food.

Nando’s cheeky marketing is ONLY a hit because they have the good quality of food to back it up.

Parliament has little significance for the ordinary voter.

Opposition parties that have their “head-office executives” in Parliament – instead of leading from the front in the local fields – are just the epitome of PROFESSIONAL LOSERS.

One has only to look at the DA. This party is the outcome of a movement of SNOWFLAKES that has been CONSISTENTLY losing the electorate for over SEVENTY years now!

Now “the chickens” want to deliver “the killshot” to the Turkey?

LOL!

Until we can raise the intelligence level of the voters in this country we will get nowhere. The problem is not the parties, the problem is the voters. SA voters are so twisted up and blindly loyal to hugely compromised brands they can’t see the wood for the trees. Not unique to this country but we really seem to be saddled with an amazingly incompetent bunch who yet can STILL count on a huge number of voters to turn out for them. Hard not to despair.

What makes you think that having a different political party running SA will make any difference. They are all corrupt or will be corrupted.

I would not be so happy about this loss of the ANC. According to IPSOS the DA will also lose some votes and EFF will gain a lot of votes but luckily not enough to oust the DA as the official opposition. Still it is a nightmare.

With so many unrealistic promises made in the past, who will vote for a party that promises the reality of hard choices and hard work?

End of comments.

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