Members of the African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as well as Democratic Alliance have begun campaigns to win over residents of Ward 47 in Bloemfontein. This is ahead of by-elections which will take place on 30 January after former DA councillor, John du Bruin, resigned from the party.
The ANC’s candidate, Royston van Heerden, has made door-to-door visits in Heidedal on Tuesday to listen to grievances of residents while citing the changes the party has made in the area in the past year. “We want people to see that we are not just here to talk but to walk the walk. We can proudly say that we have made certain achievements so far in Ward 47 like the sealing of potholes in Pinehaven, Bloemside 1, Grasland and Rykmanshoogte, dismantling illegal dumping sites and rebuilding Heide Primary School,” he said.
The DA won the ward that includes Heidedal, Estoire and Raceway Park among others during the last elections. However, the councillor position became vacant after Du Bruin resigned to join the emergent party, the Patriotic Alliance. In the controversial aftermath, the councillor from Heidedal was accused of misconduct by the DA. Du Bruin disputed this.
DA candidate, Mokgadi Kganakga, stated that she is positive that they would again win over residents despite recent dissension. “We would like to plead with the community to come out and vote. We did mess up with our previous councillor but I am a candidate that will improve that ward. We really need someone in that ward who will take care of it, and I am that person,” explained Kganakga. The representative has a campaigning and service delivery background within the party.
EFF candidate for Ward 47, Thelma Byneveldt, said that the party champions service delivery and jobs in the area. “The EFF will fight for equality in the Mangaung Metro when it comes to job opportunities. This will include the coloured community, which is neglected,” she said. “We have started to prepare for these elections last year by visiting community members. They seem very positive about the EFF, so we are confident that we can walk out victoriously,” said EFF’s Boitumelo Radebe. She stated that the EFF would be holding more community meetings before by-elections.
This is in anticipation of the national elections which will take place in May 2019. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele