South Africa News

ANC puts political disputes on backburner until after polls

The Limpopo ANC has suspended all its regional elective conferences, and put on ice disputes and discontentment in ward and proportional councillor candidate lists in an endeavour to marshal all its energy and efforts towards the November municipal elections.

Spokesperson for the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) Donald Selamolela told The Citizen the party had the ambition to win the elections with an overwhelming majority.

Selamolela said the 257 municipalities in Limpopo had, in the past, massed more votes than any other province. He said the ANC had called on those involved in various political disputes – including the fighting along factional lines – to shelve their differences to present a unified front at the polls.

“We are calling on all structures to rather give their time and energy towards drumming up support and votes from members of the community. The other issues will be dealt with after the elections,” he said.

According to the last ANC audits, Limpopo is the second-biggest province in terms of membership after KwaZulu-Natal.

Limpopo has 234 663 members, followed in third place by the Eastern Cape with 212 205 and Mpumalanga in fourth with 181 761 members.

Three years ago, Deputy President David Mabuza told a January rally in Modimolle the ANC was concerned about Limpopo’s dwindling contribution in national and local government elections.

He pleaded with branches to pull up their socks and woo more votes for the party. But Selamolela said things have now changed in the province because of the aggressive electioneering.

“We currently have 37 of the 49 seats in the Limpopo provincial legislature and the remaining 12 seats are shared among the opposition, mainly the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which is the official opposition, and the Democratic Alliance (DA), both of which are publicly known for a lot of talk but very little action,” he said.

“In the last local government elections, the opposition had to eat our dust as we won all municipalities, except for Modimolle/ Mookgophong and Thabazimbi.”

But the DA, which has three seats in the Limpopo legislature and 84 in the national parliament, claimed it was up to the task.

“We are currently running Modimolle/Mookgophong and Thabazimbi local municipalities in coalition with the Freedom Front Plus and the Thabazimbi Residents Association, with agreement with the EFF,” said DA election campaigns manager Desiree van der Walt.

“Our people are not blind. They have seen with precision and distinction that where the Democratic Alliance governs, service delivery is the order of the day. I think our people are now tired of the empty promises and the escalating corruption. From where I am standing, they will vote correctly and vote for the DA.”

The EFF was not available for comment at the time of going to print.

-The Citizen

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