By ROD AMNER
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is looking forward to working with the Makana Citizens Front (MCF) and other parties on the new Makana Council and helping them navigate the pitfalls and challenges of local government.
The DA retained its two wards and picked up three proportional representation seats in the election. Votes for the DA decreased from 29.8% in 2016 to 17.1% in 2021. Newbies, the Makana Citizens Front (MCF), secured 18.1% of votes Monday.
Constituency leader for Makana Kevin Mileham MP acknowledged the DA had suffered “a small setback electorally”, but said the growth of local issue-driven parties was “a phenomenon across the length and breadth of South Africa in these elections”.
He said the DA would work with other political parties to ensure the ANC was held accountable and was “quietly optimistic” that the ANC is going to be under more pressure to perform after the ruling party lost three of its seats in the Makana Municipal Council.
However, he said he remained concerned that “it will just be business as usual, with the same faces in the same positions and the same dysfunctional municipal administration”.
“There is undoubtedly a lot of work that needs to be done. Whether the ANC will have the political will to do so remains to be seen. The DA, however, will continue to put concrete solutions on the table and will endeavour to be a constructive opposition. We will not, under any circumstances, tolerate corruption – but actually getting the council to act is another matter!” Mileham said.
Mileham said he was very proud of the DA’s candidates, who had “interacted with thousands of voters, and are excellent representatives of the Democratic Alliance”.
“I’m also pleased that we were able to hold Wards 4 and 8, despite strong competition. This is indicative of the trust these communities place in the DA,” he said.
“While not making any excuses, it is undeniable that the lockdown played a role in voter interactions, especially in poorer communities without access to ICT, Zoom and the like.”
He said the DA needed to rebuild relationships with voters in certain communities.
“Ward 3 is an example, where we won one voting district but lost another – purely because we hadn’t gained enough traction in the community around that voting station. We also need to look at our communication – much of what we do is not seen, and then it is said that we are ineffectual, and yet I can demonstrate chapter and verse on what actions the DA has taken, and how we have resolved issues in Makana.”