By ROD AMNER
With 50.5% of the popular vote in the local government elections and control over 14 of the 27 seats on the new Council, the African National Congress (ANC) believes it has an unequivocal mandate to lead the Makana Municipality.
However, ANC Makana sub-region communication officer Linda Yako said the party’s focus was on “serving the people and leaving individual egos and party differences at the door – there is no party politics in Council”.
“Our role will be about serving the needs and interests of our people, and we shall continue on that path of improving people’s lives.”
She said the ANC would “never tolerate any lawlessness or poor service delivery this time around”. ANC councillors will sign mandatory performance agreements with the ANC.
“They will commit to implementing the ANC’s manifesto, informed by the Municipality’s Integrated Development Plan and the local municipalities’ challenges,” Yako said.
“As for the DA and EFF, they are already part of government and very aware and understand the conduct of the Council. We hope that the addition of the [Makana Citizens Front (MCF)], which comes as a civic organisation, will quickly learn the rules of the Council and pursue the broader aspects of the people-driven agenda, not individual pursuits or interests.
“As such, we are expecting an amicable, professional Council,” Yako said.
She said the vote demonstrated that the people of Makana still have confidence in the ANC and its ability to govern them. The ANC was proud of the trust shown in them by local voters, she added.
“They have told the pessimists that lies that were perpetuated that the Makana Municipality is doing nothing are precisely that – lies.
“The election outcome sends a clear message to the ANC that it should work harder in building roads, providing electricity, water and sanitation. These are tasks that are in the manifesto of the ANC. We are thankful to the people of Makana Municipality, and we are confident that the ANC will increase the rollout of services in response to their pleas. We do not take the mandate lightly.”
However, she said the ANC was concerned and disappointed with the low turnout at the polls, especially on the eastern side of town. “There are noticeable signs that some of our people do not take their right to vote or exercise their voice on local matters seriously.
“Our duty is to encourage and educate the people on the meaning behind their vote. The local government cannot do it alone; it needs the support of the people.
Yako said the MCF did not have a solid support base in ANC strongholds.
“The ANC has won [almost]80% of the wards. Many of the MCF’s votes came from Ward 4 and Ward 8, not traditional ANC strongholds. We should also note how this MCF was organised through the challenges of service delivery. They have used serious propaganda, which received more attention on public media.”
She said the ANC would soon call all its members to evaluate the elections and “develop practical, implementable plans aligned with all our manifesto”.
“We will ensure that our support base is with us every step of the way. We commit to holding our representatives accountable to our Constituencies across the city and reaching out to all our stakeholders.
She said Council formed part of Makana’s stakeholders and had a pivotal role to play. “Everyone need to play their role in their respective corners – integrated programmes will have to be identified for progress in our town.
“That is the commitment we pledge ourselves to as the ANC,” she said.