The Inkwanca Local Municipality Moment: Will the ANC see a reversal of fortunes?

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - NOVEMBER 26, 2014

Four municipal by-elections are currently underway in the Eastern Cape today, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 and are being contested by 16 candidates from four parties in 4 wards.

The by-elections for both ward and PR candidates are being held in the Inkwanca Local Municipality which was dissolved by Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa, in September following a decision made by the Eastern Cape Provincial Executive Council to implement a Section 139 (1) (c) municipal intervention as a way of addressing the challenges faced by the municipality.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the following candidates will be contesting the four ward by-elections:

  • Ward 1 will be contested by Babsie Bacela of the African Independent Congress (AIC)**; Mathwell Mbulelo Jacobs of the African National Congress (ANC); Sybil Nobakasa Rhululu of the Congress of the People (COPE); and Hazel Nomsitho Mani of the Democratic Alliance (DA). The ward was previously represented by the ANC. The voter turnout in this ward for the 2011 municipal elections was 62.24%.
  • Ward 2 will be contested by Amelia Kensley of the AIC; Zolani Prettyboy Bisiwe of the ANC; Siphiwe Bisiwe of the COPE; and Lindy Ann Haggard of the DA. The ward was previously represented by the ANC. The voter turnout in this ward for the 2011 municipal elections was 67.06%.
  • Ward 3 will be contested by Vuyiswa Monica Ndabeni of the AIC; Lindile Martin Luther Koltana of the ANC; Louis Phelibongo Frans of the COPE; and Ntombizandile Matyholo of the DA. The ward was previously represented by the ANC. The voter turnout in this ward for the 2011 municipal elections was 70.22%.
  • Ward 4 will be contested Michelle Charmaine Pietersen of the AIC; Gladys Xoliswa Mkhubukeli-Lufele of the ANC; Mbulelo Patric Dingani of the COPE; and Nokuzola Theona Tyhala of the DA. The ward was previously represented by the ANC. The voter turnout in this ward for the 2011 municipal elections was 70.25%.

**Little known, the AIC is a regional party founded by the people of Matatiele and surrounding rural communities in December 2005 after the ANC decided to incorporate the area into the Eastern Cape in August of that year. It previously won 10 seats in the Matatiele municipality.

No doubt, the results from this by-election would be a morale boost to either the ANC or the DA ahead of the 2016 local Government Elections. The DA has made it clear it would want to bring th province under its banner - starting with the Nelson Madela Bay, the province's economic hub, while the ANC will certainly not let the Eastern Cape, the home of its stalwarts, just slip away.