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Campaigning in full swing at Tlokwe

Campaigning is at its peak in the Tlokwe Local Municipality this weekend, with the African National Congress (ANC) sending its national leadership to woo voters for the highly contested by-elections.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and independent candidates contesting the by-elections have also upped their game, conducting door-to-door campaigns in the contested wards.

The Ikageng Informal Settlement was painted black, green and gold on the one side, and blue on the other. Seven wards became vacant after the Constitutional Court nullified the outcome of the 2013 by-elections.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says they will reclaim all the seven wards, come voting day. “We are back here, and as we are back here, we are going to win it again. That is the issue and then they can go back to court, nullify it, we will win it again.”

Residents that interacted with Mantashe complained about issues such as lack of land to build on and housing.

“Only when there are votes, the ANC comes to us and tells us, “We will give you stands and whatever”. But after the votes, they disappear. That is our problem,” says a resident.

Mantashe responded by saying, “If the ANC promises you stands that are not there, that is the wrong strategy for campaigning.”

Registered voters say they are ready to cast their votes in the by-elections.

The ANC is expected to hold its Siyanqoba rally in Tlokwe on Sunday, with the DA and independent candidates also doing last minute touch ups to their campaigns

The independent candidates say they have done their ground work and are not intimidated by the fact that Mantashe and other members of the ANC top six are canvassing in Tlokwe. Speaking on their behalf is David Kham says, “We know who Gwede Mantashe is, we know who Baleka (Mbete) is, we know who Zweli Mkhize is. We know, who’s the top six of the ANC, so we are not even scared of them or even Jacob Zuma himself. We are talking to voters and voters are the people, Zuma does not vote in Potch. Even Potch residents are taxpayers, Zuma ate their money.”

The DA was also campaigning on Saturday, and says it is hopeful it will claim wards four and 13, which it says are its strongholds. Tlokwe constituency head, Juanita Terblanche says, “Our preparations are going according to the plan. We are having blitzes all over, and still going stronger with the canvassing. Our posters are up, our pamphlets are out, and everything is going according to plan.”

The ANC is expected to hold its Siyanqoba rally in Tlokwe on Sunday, with the DA and independent candidates also doing last minute touch ups to their campaigns.
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– By Itumeleng Kgajane and Patric Dintwa

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