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Small parties target the Nelson Mandela Metro

The race to govern the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro after the August local government elections is heating up as small parties are also setting their sights on the municipality.

Former Congress of the People (Cope) deputy-president, Lynda Odendaal has launched a new party called Building a Cohesive Society in South Africa (BACSA) in Uitenhage that will contest all the Metros

“We are really amazed by the amount of women supporting the organisation because one of my key pillars is women and obviously focusing on how we get them into the boardroom, into the economy, into the structured a little bit of more rapid built factor than we have seen. So gender equality is very key for us,” says Odendaal.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) was the first party to set its sight on the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro which includes Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch after the 2011 municipal elections.

The party obtained more than 41% of votes while the ruling party dropped to 51%.The party believes it will wrestle this Metro from the African National Congress (ANC).

Since then other parties have joined the race including the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

We are not as naïve to think we are going to beat the DA or the ANC in this election…

A new alliance that would be targeting the Coloured voters has been formed by the Patriotic Alliance, Nationalist People’s Party and Nationalist Coloured Party. The alliance will be contesting the elections under the Patriotic Alliance in the Metros.

The focus will be on gangsterism, education and the recognition of the Coloured people. Party leader, Gayton Mackenzie says they’re not targeting to win the elections.

“We are not as naïve to think we are going to beat the DA or the ANC in this election but definitely we are going to get a percentage that would put us as kingmakers and that’s what the Patriotic Alliance wants. We already have the Nelson Mandela Metro in the bag that I can tell you. We are not concentrating on winning 55% we just want 5% and whoever wants to govern must put our issues on the table. Our issues are very simple; we want Khoisan people to be recognised as indigenous people of this country,” says Mackenzie.

Political analyst, Joleen Steyn Kotze believes bigger parties will need smaller parties to gain power, especially in municipalities that are up for grabs like the Nelson Mandela Bay.

“If you look at the smaller parties, and you look at smaller parties coming to a specific ward, it’s not unusual. We often find an independent candidate coming in to represent a particular ward or a particular community. People somewhere would feel delusional with some of the particular bigger political parties in terms of progressing, or the impact it might have – it could potentially split the vote within specific wards where smaller parties or independent candidates are contesting the elections,” says Kotze.

The Local Government Elections will be held August 3.
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– By Mcebisi Ngqina

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