Islamic party, Al Jama-ah, has launched its electionmanifesto in Cape Town ahead of the holy month of Ramadaan this week. Al Jama-ah was founded in the Western Cape more than a decade ago to espouse Muslim values within the South African political system.
Party leader, Ganief Hendricks, says 30 candidates will contest polls in the Western Cape. According to Henricks, the candidates have increased from the five they had during the previous local government elections in 2011.
The party currently has one councillor in the City of Cape Town and one in Johannesburg.
Hendricks says the party has clear plans for the campaign, “We want to bring about transformation in the country especially in the Western Cape. We find that we still have polarisation and the residents of the Cape Flats are neglected.”
Cape Town mayoral candidate, Fairouz Nagia-Luddy, says the party will change spatial development planning once it is in power. “The lack of integration all comes down to the apartheid spatial planning, it is one of the issues which I hope to address.”
Local resident, Zaheer Parker, says Muslim communities are underrepresented in council. “I think the first thing Al Jama-ah wants to do is be more communicative to the public. Secondly, I think the big issue is the budgets- that is to get the budget for each ward that we are working in.”
The party used a Ramadan Expo to engage with the Muslim community on their plans.
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