News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Monday July 22nd 2019

ANC failed to deliver, say Gugulethu voters

Sandiso Phaliso and Yugendree Naidoo

Residents of Gugulethu-Heideveld say a lack of delivery and failure to deliver on promises resulted in a surprise loss for ANC in a by-election there this week.

Home to ANC leaders such as Tony Yengeni and former provincial ANC secretary Mcebisi Skwatsha, Gugulethu was believed to be an ANC stronghold.

But the DA won Wednesday’s by-election, which came about due to the death of the former ANC ward councillor Nombulelo Ntoko who was shot by her boyfried in April, with a comfortable margin – a result that seemed to have surprised both parties.

Winning only 26.2% of the votes in the ward in the 2006 local government elections, the DA strode home on Wednesday with 60.29% of the voters support.

The ANC, by contrast dropped from garnering 53% of the votes in 2006, to only 37.7% this week.

This week the DA also won Ward 12 in Caledon’s Theewaterskloof municipality from the ANC, increasing their votes from 9.6% in 2006 to 48.13%. The ANC gathered 44.81% of the votes there compared to 71.7% in 2006.

DA spokesperson for Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, Melany Kühn admitted the party were “pleasantly surprised” at the by-election results for Gugulethu-Heideveld Ward 44.

“There was an element of surprise,” she said.

But Kühn said it was “no surprise” that voters had come to see the party was able to deliver in the DA-run city and province.

The DA victor was probably because voters had “opened their eyes” to the ANC’s tactics of political violence and intimidation in their efforts to prevent an open opportunity society for everyone, and their failure to deliver on promises.

“It’s like the voter is sending out a message that they willing to try an alternative government.”

Gugulethu residents, some of the card-carrying members of the ANC, underscored her remarks, with a number of loyal ANC members saying they chose not to vote.

“I am fed with empty promises by the ANC leaders,” said card carrying ANC member Simphiwe Bangingca.

But his loyalty to the party dictated he abstain from voting rather than vote DA – a factor which contributed to a voter turnout of just over 40%.

“Instead of voting for the ANC I decided to stay at home. Voting for the ANC is a waste. I am fed up with their rule. Although I will not vote for another party, I will never vote gain.”

He said he and others who did not vote, “wanted to teach them (the ANC) a lesson that they are not above the people. We only see them when they need us and when we need them they are nowhere to be found.

Nomaphelo Mqolo, another ANC card-carrying member who chose not to vote, said weeks before the by-elections she “noticed that there was a huge swing towards the DA”.

“The support for the ANC amongst the young people in the area collapsed dramatically. Young people need employment and to be cared for.”

Former ANC supporter Mandla Mayekiso said he voted in favour of the DA.

“The party (ANC) has not managed to convince voters to vote for it. There were not enough campaigns from the side of the ANC, compared to the DA. People tend to vote for a party that shows it cares for the poor.

Mayekiso said the perception was that local ANC leaders were prone to nepotism.

“Many of us are disappointed with the Gugulethu leadership because major leadership positions are given to friends with no leadership background,” he said.

ANC member Sibulelo Sociko, who also did not vote, said the ANC lost the ward because they were guilty of “corruption, arrogance, nepotism and mismanagement”.

“We still live in shacks under the ANC rule and by voting for the DA I am giving them a chance to make our lives better like they promise,” said resident Asekhona Mangaliso.

“The ANC has not kept their promises of a better life for all.”

ANC ward 44 chairperson Mzwandile Phoswa said the reason the ANC lost was because of voters from Heideveld, a predominantly coloured area.

“Most voters in the ward live in Heideveld, which is dominated by coloured voters, who are DA members. You must know that when people vote, they vote according to race.”

He said of the 5 000 people in Gugulethu registered to vote, only 70 cast their ballot. He said Ward 44 was only a small part of Gugulethu and the DA could not claim to be in control of Gugulethu as a whole.

Senior ANC leaders in the province were not available for comment. – West Cape News

Tags: ANC, DA, Gugulethu, heideveld, yengeni

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