Similarly, residents of Theewaterskloof Municipality Ward 11 will know whether the DA will continue to rule there.
The Ward 45 by-elections came about due to the death of the DA councillor Faiza Adams while in Theewaterskloof and elected DA councillor Catherine Booysen-Nesdt, resigning her position for a place in the ANC opposition.
The DA and ANC were out in force to win the hearts of Ward 45, split between Gugulethu populated mostly by black, traditionally ANC voting residents and Mannenberg comprising mostly coloured, traditionally DA voting residents.
Meanwhile the Islamic Al Jamah party hopes to make strides in the community, perhaps even squeaking through the rift created by the DA and the ANC.
Al Jamah leader Ganief Hendricks said he and his party had been campaigning in the ward since Adams died in January, visiting over 2000 households in Mannenberg more than once, offering tea and foodstuffs such as rice and dal.
Hendricks said 7 000 of the over 15 000 registered voters made their cross in the 2011 local government election and less than half of those turned out for a by-election.
His party had targeted 3 000 households in Mannenberg so if 4 000 people came out to vote and his party’s work was effective, they could have a chance to win the ward with highly respected former policeman Fuaad Hendricks as candidate.
Also in the running in Ward 45 is the National Independent Civic Organisation, the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania and the People’s Alliance.
Despite Hendrick’s figures, the ANC and DA were both confident they would win, with a win for the ANC as opposition party in local government signifying a strategic victory.
Both parties have focused on the Gugulethu side of the ward, engaging in door-to-door campaigns since the weekend, handing out pamphlets in shopping malls and walking banners along the busy NY 1 Road.
Snap interviews on the street showed younger residents leaning more toward the DA candidate Siyabulela Mamkeli while older voters would follow the traditional voting patterns and choose the ANC with their candidate Nontuthuzelo Dlongodlongo.
Wearing a blue DA t-shirt at the busy Gugulethu Mall, Amanda Qampi, 24, said she was wearing her political affiliation on her sleeve.
She said Mamkeli appealed to her and many young people because he was young and she was “tired of voting for the ANC which does not keep its promises”.
Qampi said she had twice before voted for the ANC but had been won over by the DAs policy manifesto.
Another young person Unathi Sibevu, 30, said he would vote DA.
“The ANC does not value its young generation. Voting for the ANC in a province ruled by the DA is time wasting. I vote for the DA because even if the ANC wins the win would be meaningless as the province and the City is already being ruled by the DA,” said Sibevu.
But 50-year-old Gladys Khawuta, 50, said she would vote ANC as she had done since 1994.
“I can’t vote for another party other than the ANC, as that would be seen as a betrayal to the liberation movement. I am not voting for the candidate but the organisation.”
Khawuta said she believed most young voters would be choosing the DA as they could not see how the ANC had liberated them.
Provincial ANC chairperson Songezo Mjongile was adamant that his party would win today’s elections despite the move to the DA by the younger generation.
“We have lobbied and canvassed and ANC members would come in numbers to vote for the organisation. We have made everything possible to win these elections and we will win,” said an optimistic Mjongile.
“We have down our homework and we are confident we are going to win.”
However, DA regional leader Grant Pascoe was also optimistic of a wins.
“We won the last time and we are going to win again.”
He said the message of support the DA had been receiving from residents was “overwhelming”.
The DA received 21.6 percent of the vote in the elections in 2006, but the party went on to receive 60.5 in May 2010 and also retained the ward after last year’s local government elections.
Residents of Theewaterskloof, a municipality rocked by protests over overcrowded schools in March which saw mudslinging between the DA and ANC, have only three choices: Independent candidate Louise Sue-Ann Owies, ANC candidate Catharine Nondumiso Nefdt and DA candidate Martin Mathews.
Regional DA manager Jaco Londt said the candidacy became vacant after previous DA councillor Catherine Booysens-Nesdt, who took office on a 56.3% majority vote, resigned and took a post with the ANC. – Sandiso Phaliso and Steve Kretzmann