A fierce power contest is looming for the control of Metsimaholo Municipality in the northern Free State.
Alliance partners, the African National Congress and South African Communist Party will for the first time face off in a bid to take charge of the province’s economic hub.
The council was dissolved in July when a coalition between the EFF, DA, Freedom Front Plus and the Metsimaholo Civic Association (MCA) collapsed.
With various industries, the area contributes immensely to the province’s economic growth.
However, allies have turned into foes as they jostle for power. The SACP has accused the ANC of self-consideration and failing to lead the alliance and the dismissal of more than 300 municipal workers has infuriated the SACP.
The water crisis in the eastern Free State is another bone of contention.
“They are no contesting the ANC, but the state power. The state power contest is open to various partes who wish to improve the people’s lives,” said the Free State SACP Secretary Bheke Stofile.
The Communist Party insists the move will not deepen the divisions in the Alliance.
The SACP will contest all 21 wards in the region. The ANC has rejected claims that it is imposing candidates on the community.
The governing party is confident that it will dissuade the SACP from contesting the state power.
Free State ANC spokesperson Thabo Meeko says they will engage with the SACP.
“They will continue to engage with the SACP to resolve their differences. They do not think the SACP took the right decision.”
There are more than 78-thousand registered voters in Metsimaholo, and the by-election will take place on the 29th of this month.