The African National Congress is set to win back the Democratic Alliance-controlled Midvaal municipality in Gauteng, whose residents adore the ANC, chairperson Baleka Mbete said on Sunday.
“We are confident of winning because yet again, as we do door-to-door campaigns people express their love for the ANC. This is their ANC,” Mbete said on the sidelines of her campaigning.
Asked how the ANC planned to win votes in the area, Mbete said the ANC could have committed mistakes in the past but was on the right track in Midvaal.
“The ANC is an honest organisation. We made mistakes at some point in the past and admitted them; now we are saying let’s change and strengthen the ANC in Midvaal,” she said.
Regional chairman Simon Mofokeng said the DA in Midvaal still delivered services along historical lines. It was the only place in the country where people slept alongside horses in stables, he claimed.
“There is nowhere [else] where you will find people living with horses. We had in the past exposed this to a newspaper, where the DA is allowing people to share space with animals. Services are skewed here and that makes us believe that if we can preach our gospel properly we can win back Midvaal.”
Mofokeng said growth in Gauteng was in the south where the Sedibeng district municipality was situated. Midvaal and Emfuleni local municipalities formed part of Sedibeng. Lesedi, which fell under the ANC, was doing more for its residence with the same budget compared to Midvaal, he said.
“Part of the south is the R59 corridor. As a result of industrialisation here the tax base of Midvaal has grown, meaning that their budget has grown from R500 million to R1 billion. Lesedi’s budget is still R500 million and services more and improved compared to Midvaal… so with the R1 billion budget the ANC can do much more compared to the DA,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Mbete attended a church service at the Evangelistic Revival Ministries in Sicelo, where she related historical events during the struggle against the apartheid regime. She told the congregants to remember that the country’s freedom had not come easy.
“Many people died for this freedom, it is not only the known people who perished, others you might not know also lost their lives fighting for freedom.”
Mbete said she was happy to find time to attend church during her campaign. “I am very happy to be here, the line of work we do, as busy as it is, we find that we do not attend church. This is a 24-hour job that doesn’t respect time… but we need this. I know I will feel better when I leave here,” she said to a loud applause from the congregation.
She told the congregation that she had not come to church to preach, and then went on to promise the congregation a bigger church under the ANC.
“We are hopeful that we will take control of Midvaal and then build you a better and bigger church. We thank you for allowing us into your church and enjoy this time that God has given us.”
The DA first took control of Midvaal in 2000. Other parties vying for votes in the area include the ANC, the Economic Freedom Fighters, and the Freedom Front Plus.
Midvaal municipality borders two metros, the City of Johannesburg and the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, and is linked to these areas by the R59 freeway.
Mbete, accompanied by Midvaal ANC mayoral candidate Tefo Mofokeng and Gauteng ANC chairman Paul Mashatile, will later address an ANC rally at a local stadium.
– African News Agency (ANA)