ANC Mpumalanga: ‘We are ready to retain control of municipalities’

MBOMBELA – Only the ANC’s own hubris can cost the party control of municipalities in the coming election.

ANC provincial secretary Mr Mandla Ndlovu recently said that the party would retain control of each municipality in Mpumalanga on August 3.

“If you don’t prepare you are going to lose,” he told Lowvelder afterwards. “But we are ready.”

He explained that the party remained strong. “Has something drastic happened since the 2014 elections?”

According to him the answer is no, and the opposition is weak. The ANC lost a total of six seats to opposition parties in the general elections two years ago – three more than in the previous elections.

“Look at the strategy of their appointments – in some areas the opposition doesn’t even exist. Maybe they are contesting five wards.

“Opposition parties poach our second graders. How do you want to win if you don’t have your own candidates?”

Ndlovu admitted that outlying areas in municipalities are not receiving the same services as the urban areas, which is a concern for the party.

“Far-flung areas must also get the services. It is a concern of the organisation.”

Revenue collection is also poor, he admitted. “The billing system is inaccurate in some municipalities. Some people are unable to pay. First we need to correct the billing system and then implement each municipality’s revenue enhancement strategy.”

He added that cutting of services for those who did not pay was a last resort. “People must be conscious to be able to pay. We must create consciousness among them to budget for paying the municipality. Cut-offs must be used as a last resort. First we have to negotiate and persuade them. We don’t start by cutting off.

“We have to use all other avenues and not just cut-off.”

He said there had been problems with implementing the indigent policy whereby the poorest were provided with free basic services. “We have been getting a lot of feedback on people’s problems while going door-to-door during our campaign,” Ndlovu concluded.

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Mireille de Villiers

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