With a mere six weeks to go before the August 3 municipal elections, the battle for political control of the capital is hotting up.
Election campaigns are in full swing.
The Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and the Freedom Front Plus, among others, are trying to wrestle power from the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
Political analysts say the battle for the Greater Tshwane Metro will be one of the most contentious.
The Jacaranda city, as it is fondly referred to as due to the large number of Jacaranda trees, is also home to three universities and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Political Analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni says, “Metros because they have these massive resources. They are used as the springboard for any party to grow into a province … as you saw in the Western Cape with the DA.”
Parties are going all out to woo voters.
FF Plus mayoral candidate, Advocate Anton Alberts says, “FF Plus is currently the third largest party in the council and we’re also the third largest party in Gauteng as a whole. We believe with coalitions going forward that we can be part of new government between those opposition parties.”
DA mayoral candidate for the City of Tshwane, Solly Msimang says, “The capital city is the city which the world looks at the country through. If you’re not going to be able to run your capital city properly, the whole world sees your country as a failure. You’d appreciate that we have the biggest concentration of embassies outside of Washington.”
Tshwane ANC regional secretary Paul Mojapelo says, “We are the capital city of Africa, all the embassies are around us here. Administration of government is in Tshwane, majority of our institution of higher learning are in Tshwane. So 60% of our population is young people … so the future is here hence everybody is talking about Tshwane.”
Attempts to speak to the EFF drew a blank. The local government elections will be held on August 3.