Voting underway in a crucial Nelson Mandela Bay by-election

AUGUST 19, 2015

The campaigning is over and voting began in earnest on Wednesday morning in the Nelson Mandela Bay in a crucial by-election for Ward 30 - Veeplaas. 

The by-election is being contested by Sizakele Lawrence Mnqamisa of the African National Congress (ANC); Eric Jinikwe of the Democratic Alliance (DA); and Mandla Louis Faltein of the United Democratic Movement (UDM).

This ward became vacant after the death of former ANC councillor, Mike Tofile.

Parties not taking the by-election lightly

Winning this ward is evidently crucial for both the DA and ANC as the battle for control of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is heating up ahead of the 2016 Local Government Elections.

On Sunday, Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, led the ANC's Eastern Cape Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) on a door-to-door campaign in the Ward, where they sought to woo residents to vote for the ANC.

The group also included Nelson Mandela Bay councillors led by Executive Mayor, Danny Jordaan.

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, who was expected to campaign in the ward on Monday alongside Federal Chairperson and Nelson Mandela Bay Mayoral candidate, Athol Trollip, failed to pitch up after his flight was delayed and eventually cancelled owing to flight disruptions at the Port Elizabeth International Airport due to bad weather.

The campaign was eventually led by Trollip.

Still, both parties had held several campaigns in the ward in the lead up to this election.

The DA has made it known that they want to be the governing party in the Nelson Mandela Bay after the 2016 Local Government Elections - and a win on Wednesday will be a great confidence boost.

However, the ANC is equally determined to hold onto the ward and the Metro as losing in next year's elections might open the way for the DA to eventually take over the entire province.

The ANC perhaps proved that it still enjoys support when it retained a Ward in another by-election in the Makana Local Municipality last month. The by-election was contested by the ANC and DA only- read about it by following the link below.

RELATED: ANC RETAINS WARD IN MAKANA MUNICIPALITY BY-ELECTION

Image: DA via Facebook