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No other alternative to the ANC: Kathrada

African National Congress struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada went on an election campaign in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg carrying a message of volunteerism.

 

Party leaders including Joburg Mayor Parks Tau, Ministers Jeff Radebe, Malusi Gigaba and former President Kgalema Motlanthe were in the area to woo votes for an election which is billed as the toughest yet.

Kathrada addressed the local candidates who will be standing for the election on August third.

“If the ANC is going to continue to succeed it cannot pay hundreds of thousands of volunteers, volunteers are what volunteers mean to devote time and energy without money without being paid, and it’s the least sacrifice one expects from volunteers,” says Kathrada.

Kathrada has been in the news recently for speaking out against President Jacob Zuma calling for him to step down following a finding by the Constitutional Court that he had failed to protect the Constitution.

However he says he still believes that there is yet to be an alternative to the ANC.

“ANC brought us freedom it led the people of SA to freedom for the first time after 300 years of apartheid rule. It was the ANC that brought freedom to this country freedom, it didn’t fall from heaven it was fought for sacrificed for. Chris Hani died for freedom,” says Kathrada.

Motlanthe also reminded incoming councillors of their responsibility to serve.

“To us the person that is our candidate now is someone who is forever at the service of the community, that is the kind of remark we expect from our people when they talk about ANC public representatives it must be an expression of confidence,” says Motlanthe.

But it has been a steep road for the ANC, the party this year introduced a new system of choosing councillors.

The party fields three candidates and leaves the final vote to the community.

This has created some tensions with a number of branches even going so far as to picket outside party headquarters.

There have also been fights and deaths over the nomination process.

Leaders have also had to come to communities such as Orange Farm to calm tensions.

Mashatile says however the new system worked well in most areas.

“Many communities appreciate we give them opportunity to give a say when they nominate our councillors, you will see the old lady is now happy with the choice to say the one coming in now is one we are happy with. So that is really what we are doing – there are instances where people are not quite happy but we have dealt with those issues I think 99 percent of councillors are accepted in communities where we have nominated them,” says Mashatile.

The party is expected to retain Johannesburg albeit by a small margin.

The ANC has its work cut out in Tshwane where it has been struggling, and where the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) are also putting in resources to give the ANC tough competition.

 

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