THE ANC will use every dirty trick it can to cling to power in Nelson Mandela Bay, because a lot of people have prime positions that they do not want to lose, DA leader Helen Zille has warned.
In her address to the DA provincial elective congress in Jeffreys Bay on Saturday, Zille said the possibility of the ANC losing the local government elections in the Bay in 2016 made it dangerous.She told the 520 delegates, representing 18 constituencies, that the DA was a threat to ANC rule and called on them to work tirelessly in the run-up to the local government poll.
“The ANC is at its most dangerous phase in its history right now,” Zille said.
“Cosatu, one of its pillars, is going to split and then you are going to have a new party that will say it is going to do a lot for the workers.
“The DA is going to say we are working for the unemployed to get jobs.
“You know from nature that when an animal is wounded and dying, it is at its most dangerous. And there are a lot of people in this ANC in the Eastern Cape who have nice positions that they use to take the people’s money.
“They don’t want to lose those positions because they don’t want to go to work every day and earn a living. They are going to fight with whatever it takes to keep the DA out . . . you must know about dirty tricks,” she said.
The ANC obtained 49% of the vote in the Bay in the May 7 national election, down almost three percentage points from the 2011 local government elections. The DA obtained just over 40%.
At the weekend, Veliswa Mvenya was elected the DA’s provincial chairwoman, ahead of Edmund van Vuuren, who failed to win another term as chairman.
Mvenya, a former DA deputy provincial leader who hails from Ngqamakhwe in Transkei, received the majority of the votes at the congress.
“The DA will continue to create positive change in the Eastern Cape and provide equal opportunities to all residents,” Mvenya said.
“We will bring change to local municipal governance in 2016, where we will showcase what a DA government can do.” Van Vuuren pledged his support to Mvenya and her executive. “May they build on the foundations laid by the outgoing executive,” he said.
“We should all work together as a unit to achieve our electoral objectives for 2016, especially in annexing the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality from the ANC.”
Bay caucus leader Retief Odendaal, Rory Gailey and Lodewyk Gallant were elected as Mvenya’s deputies.
Athol Trollip was uncontested as provincial leader, with Bobby Stevenson and Terrence Fritz elected as his deputies.
Trollip said afterwards that the DA would exploit the ANC’s weaknesses. “For the past 20 years, the ANC has had sole voter preserve in the black voter market so to speak, but things have changed and the DA has made significant strides.
“But on top of that, Numsa is a fundamentally important issue in the two metros of this province.
“So if Numsa does break away [from Cosatu], it will have an effect [on the 2016 election],” he said.
“The ANC has always relied on the informal settlements for support. There’s a new player in the political environment and they are going to take votes in those [areas].
“So the ANC is under threat from all over – from the Democratic Alliance across the province and across communities, but also from the EFF in informal settlements and poor areas, and potentially Numsa.
“So the ANC for the first time is under serious threat and we are going to exploit that,” Trollip said.
Numsa resolved at its special national congress in December to establish a workers’ party that would go head to head with the ANC in the 2016 local government elections.
The emergence of Julius Malema’s EFF also threatens ANC rule .
In her keynote address, Zille said party agents should be vigilant on registration and election day and look out for possible corruption.
“Nelson Mandela Bay is South Africa’s next big thing,” she said.
“We know the people of Nelson Mandela Bay know they can bring change. And they don’t have to bring change by packing their bags and going to Cape Town or Johannesburg. They can bring change by making a cross in the right place at the ballot box.”
Zille said the ANC was more concerned about factionalism and infighting, and had taken voters for granted. Bay residents would vote for the DA because they wanted a party that would continue former president Nelson Mandela’s legacy.
DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane laid into President Jacob Zuma at the congress, saying he was corrupt and a coward who did not respect the constitution.
“It’s only a matter of time [until] we will all be surprised that the president even arrives in parliament, because he is a coward president,” Maimane said.
“All he wants is to eat our money in Nkandla and forget about us.
“. . . We don’t want a mayor in Nelson Mandela Bay whose job is to have a fancy car and fancy house.
“We want a mayor who is going to work for the people.”