NELSON Mandela Bay politicians from the ANC and DA are gearing up to take on their roles in the Bhisho legislature and the National Assembly when the new administration takes office on Wednesday.
Julius Malema’s EFF Bay candidates for the two houses are still in the dark as they will only be told at a meeting in East London on Saturday if they made the cut.
The ANC’s 70.9% victory in the Eastern Cape means it has 45 seats in Bhisho – with seven of them occupied by Bay politicians.
While the party has yet to finalise its MP list, Bay leaders like Stone Sizani, Cedric Frolick, Lulu Johnson and former mayor Zanoxolo Wayile, stand a good chance of going back to the highest decision-making body in the country as the ANC won 249 seats with its 62.15% national result.
The seven who are going to Bhisho are ANC deputy regional chairman Tony Duba, former deputy mayor Nancy Sihlwayi, SACP provincial chairman Mzoleli Mrara, ANC deputy provincial secretary Helen Sauls-August, Christian Martin, Tamara Xhanti and Phumeza Mpushe.
Duba said he was ready to serve at provincial level.
“I am very humbled by the trust placed in me. Of course, we are not going there on a honeymoon, but to work.
“We want to deliver on the issues our people have been consistently crying about,” he said.
ANC regional secretary Zandisile Qupe said they were still unsure if all the MP candidates from the Bay would get the nod.
“There is nothing final for parliament, but Cedric, Stone and Lulu are high on the list.”
The DA’s 22.23% national election result means it will have 89 MPs, while its 16.2% in the Eastern Cape is equivalent to 10 seats.
Four Bay DA leaders – Andrew Whitfield, Annette Lovemore, Nqaba Bhanga and Malcolm Figg – are heading to parliament.
Bobby Stevenson and Edmund van Vuuren return to Bhisho for another term and will be joined by city councillors Vicky Knoetze and Marshall von Bochenroeder.
DA Women’s Network provincial chairwoman Celeste Barker also got the nod.
After 17 years of lecturing in internal auditing at NMMU, Figg will take up a DA MP position.
“It is with sadness [to leave NMMU]. It was a very difficult decision.
“However, I have thought about it long and hard and, when the offer came up, I believe by being a member of parliament I can serve the whole of South Africa,” the former EP Cricket boss said.
The EFF has 25 seats for MPs and two for Bhisho MPLs.
EFF regional convener Mbuyiselo Madaka said: “We haven’t been told if anyone from the region will be going to Bhisho or parliament yet, but we have been called to a meeting in East London on Saturday morning.”
Of the four parliament and four Bhisho legislature seats for the UDM, none will be occupied by leaders from the Bay.