After weeks of restless campaigns for the local government elections, political party leaders have taken the time to exercise their democratic right by voting in their respective voting stations and urged South Africans to do the same. Leaders of various political parties cast their votes in different parts of the country with an aim to lead municipalities after the announcement of the results.
Leading by example, political party leaders came out in their numbers to also cast their votes. Since the declaration of the new election date, political formations have been out and about with an aim to garner support.
Now the time has come to see the fruits of their labour.
DA leader John Steenhuisen cast his ballot in his hometown at the Northwood Boys High school in Durban North. He says the DA had not set up a mayoral candidate for the Ethekwini Municipality as it wanted to infiltrate the area, ward by ward.
“I think it’s largely gone smoothly. Of course, like every election, there are hiccups along the way. I think our party agents and the members on the liaison committees are dealing with the particular matters and will get to the bottom of them. It is not that difficult to work out where the fraud has taken place there, and it will be very easy to see in terms of what the results look like there. But if anyone has been involved in electoral fraud wherever they’re from they need to be dealt with severely. This is an expression of the people’s will and it cannot be perverted. People who are desperately trying to cling to power through means other than the democratic ballot box.”
LGE 2021 I DA leader John Steenhuisen encourages people to go out and vote:
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and his wife Mantwa were at Mponagele Primary School in Seshego, Limpopo. Malema has expressed confidence that the EFF will clinch victory in most municipalities across the country.
“We think that South Africans have heard the message of the EFF and they have received it very well and we can only hope for the best. It is now in the hands of the South Africans, the youth of South Africa must come out in their numbers because this has got to do with them, this is about the future, it is about investing in the infrastructure and service delivery in our localities, I am happy with the turnout of old people, and we need the youth to come out in their numbers.”
EFF leader Julius Malema speaks to the media after casting his vote:
In KwaZulu Natal, Inkatha Freedom Party leader Velenkosini Hlabisa also went to vote.
Hlabisa was elected as the party’s president in 2019. This is his first election at the helm of the party.
After the 2016 local government elections, the IFP won 432 seats and controlled seven councils.
Hlabisa says he’s happy with the way the elections are proceeding.
“This is the day people of South Africa should go to their voting stations. We are looking forward that the day should be peaceful with no glitches up until the closing time and people be allowed to exercise their vote. We’re quite satisfied with the turnout. We are seeing and we have heard about in various voting stations. We know by midday towards two o’clock, three o’clock, the majority of the voters would have turned out to cast their democratic right, to vote in their voting stations.”
Freedom Front Plus leader, Dr Pieter Groenewald, says he is optimistic that his party will form part of a coalition government in three of the North West municipalities.
Groenewald was speaking at the Stilfontein Cricket Club voting station in the North West after casting his vote.
He says his party is gaining momentum in the province.
“In North West specifically, we think that we can be in a coalition in JB Marks, in Rustenburg and in Madibeng. Those are the three where we think we can be in a coalition government. We foresee that we are going to do quite well. You must remember the by-elections that took place just after 2019, we took four wards from the DA in North West.”
The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) says they are confident that the ANC will be voted out of power in the City of Ekhuruleni.
In recent months, the hotly contested metro has witnessed a string of service delivery protests.
Ekurhuleni has the second highest number of registered voters in Gauteng with more than 1.5 million people on the voters’ roll this year.
ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe was speaking at the Sunward Park Sport and Recreation Centre, where he cast his ballot.
“The ANC will definitely lose their power in Ekurhuleni and if they win again that will be a shocker. If ANC does win in this area we will say this is some of the effects of witchcraft because before the elections they came out with their sangomas, knowing many people are scared of these people. Because many people know these sangomas can threaten you and threaten your life. And also bad luck that many black people are scared of. So the fact that they were bringing them to the campaign is a sign that they are aware that there is a strong possibility of them losing Ekurhuleni.”
Meshoe speaks after voting:
United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader General Bantu Holomisa says he is not happy with the party agents at Umtata in the Eastern Cape. Holomisa is amongst the people who cast their vote in the Umtata City Hall.
Voting polls opened at seven in the morning, with thousands of voters expected to cast their vote at the metro’s 275 voting stations.
He says he is hopeful the results will show that the time for one-party dominance is over.
“We must make sure that we come up with rules and regulations to regulate coalition governments post-elections. They are here to stay whether one likes it or not. We are fed up with one-party dominance. This multi-party democracy was designed to promote checks and balances and the people must go out and vote for the party of their choice.”
GOOD party leader Patricia de Lille says she is positive that the party will see some good results following the Local Government Elections. This is the party’s first Local Government Election since the party was founded by De Lille in 2018.
De Lille was speaking after casting her vote at Pinelands in Cape Town.
“I feel very, very good that I’m able to cast my vote. Come rain or sunshine, like it’s raining in Cape Town today. We are very positive that we will see some growth. We have asked South Africans to lend us their vote just for five years and if we don’t perform in those five years, they can vote us out. People should never give their vote away. Your vote is priceless and I think people get that message.”
National Freedom Party (NFP) Acting President, Jeremiah Mavundla also went to cast his vote in KwaNongoma.
“We are very happy about the progress since Saturday, Sunday and today. People are flowing into the voting station.”
The Congress of the People (COPE) says they do not believe that this year’s will be free and fair for all parties contesting.
COPE Leader Mosiuoa Lekota says he believes the campaigns of smaller parties have been sabotaged by the governing party, the ANC.
Lekota was speaking in Midrand, north of Johannesburg this morning, where he cast his vote at the Montecello Country Estate.
“At this moment, we are very sore because you know the day before yesterday we were holding our closing rally in Chiawelo and then the police suddenly came there to tell us that our meeting is illegal because campaigning has closed down. I even wondered whether (it was) because the president was born in Chiawelo and grew up there. Maybe he was mobilising his community to make sure that we don’t have our meeting. Now, when things like that happen would people believe that this is a free and fair election?”
PAC President, Mzwanele Nyontsho says his party is open to participate in coalition municipalities. He was speaking after he cast his vote at Khanyisa Primary School outside Centane in the Eastern Cape.
Nyontsho says a vote for his party is for land, dignity and better services. He admits internal divisions in the party had an impact on their campaign leading a failure to register candidates in a hundred wards.
The PAC leader claims in his ward there were reports of a presiding officer who was hitch hiking with a ballot box and his party would report the incident.
Nyontsho says while coalition municipalities are not stable. They are needed to pass budgets.
“The era of coalitions has arrived. There is nothing we can do about it. But of course, we are skeptical because when it comes to coalitions you need to have rules and guidelines. If you don’t have them, coalitions are going to collapse. Of course, there are no guidelines for any coalitions when it comes to budget and when it comes to service delivery we are going to have problems and coalitions will collapse. But we are open we will definitely participate if we see the need.”
Leader of the Al Jama-ah party, Ganief Hendricks, says there is evidence that their party is gaining traction. After the 2016 Local Government Elections, Al Jama-ah garnered two seats in the council of the City of Cape Town. Hendricks, who voted in Pinelands in Cape Town, says he is confident that something better is coming.
“Al Jama-ah is the alternative. We are a Muslim party, formed in a mosque but we are now a platform for all communities and this is evident by the fact that so many of our candidates have come forward and accepted to be our councillors.”
Al Jama-ah is hoping for better results:
ActionSA President, Herman Mashaba cast his vote at the Sandton Fire Station. He lambasted the IEC for only presenting the logo of the party without the name.
“Two ballots, one where we’ve been reduced to a logo, fortunate enough very easy to find and we’ve educated our people to really know, those who want to vote for ActionSA where we’ve been reduced to a logo it’s actually quite easy to really find us… we’ll wait for the results but we’re positive as ActionSA because we’ve made it really clear from day 1. We’re not going to be a party of opposition because that’s the only way we can make a difference to the lives of our people and our country.”
The results of the elections are expected to be out on Thursday.