DA unveils eThekwini Municipality candidates but remains tight-lipped on targeted wards
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DURBAN - THE DA has set its sights on winning almost half of the wards that are controlled by the ANC and other parties in eThekwini Municipality during the local government elections.
While reluctant to reveal the wards the party is targeting in its “ward-byward strategy”, party leader Francois Rodgers said it hoped to gain about 40% of the wards currently in ANC hands.
Instead of putting up mayoral candidates as the face of its campaign in eThekwini, the party has opted to focus on a different strategy to win individual wards as it seeks to whittle down the ANC majority.
Should it be able to cut the ANC majority to below 50%, Rogers said, it would consider forming a coalition to take over the municipality.
EThekwini has 110 wards, 74 are under the ANC, 30 under the DA, two are controlled by the IFP and four by independents.
The party yesterday named candidates who would represent it in the city’s 110 wards during an event outside the Durban City Hall.
“We will not reveal which wards we are targeting, but we are looking at 40% of the wards that are controlled by other parties and we are also looking to grow our PR representation.
“We have visited wards where we found communities that are unhappy about their councillors. The PR list is also interesting as there are community
members who have said they are willing to vote for the DA PR councillors.”
The party’s election campaign seemed to nosedive last week after it put up controversial election posters and it was accused of celebrating people involved in racially charged violence in Phoenix during the looting in July.
Rodgers expressed confidence that the controversy would not negatively impact on votes, saying the public would not be swayed by the “ANC narrative”. During the event, Rodgers also unveiled the party’s list of priorities.
The party said its focus was on economic growth to create jobs, cutting corruption to deliver better services and creating a safe city for all.
He said at the heart of any successful city was economic growth that created jobs. “The city’s (eThekwini) economy has pretty much tanked in the past five years. For those that have lived here for any length of time, economic growth of 1% has become the norm.
“This is simply unacceptable when we have the busiest port in Africa, eThekwini should be the transport logistics and manufacturing hub,” he said.
Rodgers said one of their priorities would be to ease the investment process, contain the water and electricity losses, improve infrastructure and improve transport infrastructure by making sure that the Go Durban route functions.
“We need to start firing crooked councillors and conduct lifestyle audits,” he said.
One of the councillors named yesterday said he had had a positive response from his community.
Graeme Clarivette, who is contesting Ward 11 which covers Newlands and other areas, said he was confident he would be able to unseat the current ANC councillor.