THE wealthiest and most influential ward in Limpopo will never fall into the hands of the ANC or EFF, said the DA in the province.
Frank Haas, the incumbent councillor of Ward 21 in the City of Polokwane, said his party would retain its prized asset with ease because the official opposition has served the residents well for the past 15 years.
He dismissed as wishful thinking claims by the ANC and the EFF that they were on the verge of taking over the ward.
The DA has won Ward 21 during the 2001, 2006 and 2011 local government elections, with Haas repeatedly retained as a councillor.
The ward is home to the rich and famous in the province, including Premier Stan Mathabatha, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.
“We have retained it for three consecutive elections. So, I think we are going to win it again,” Haas said.
“I don’t see the ANC as a threat in this ward. I don’t see the EFF succeeding in their claims that they have been making.”
However, Haas said that he expected the ANC to retain the Polokwane Municipality albeit with a reduced percentage point.
He said he also expected the “Blue Machine” to do well in the Waterberg region, especially in municipalities like Bela Bela, Modimolle and Mookgophong on the border between Limpopo and Gauteng.
Despite Ward 21 having eluded the ANC for 15 years, the ruling party said they were confident of winning it this time around.
Mahlatse Kobe (27), the ANC’s ward 21 councillor candidate, said the ward was now up for grab because the tide had turned against the DA in the area.
“There are certain community issues which, unfortunately, the DA were unable to solve, especially if you look at the issue of the schooling,” Kobe said.
“There is a school here which has been preserved for Afrikaans lessons only. As the ANC we want to ensure that this school serves its purpose and serves the community entirely so. That’s why there is a greater confidence shown. Even the white community that believes in unity in a non-racial society also shows confidence by voting for the ANC.”
EFF Ward 21 councillor candidate, Sibusiso Mashamba, said the red berets would take over the ward because they were an inclusive and non-racial party of the future.
“What we represent speaks to black, white, Indian, coloured, red or yellow. We feel the people of ward 21 are ready for such a movement,” Mashamba said.
[They] are ready for such policies that we embrace. They are ready to liberate the black child or the white child.”