The 2011 local government election was an extremely tight affair and was narrowly won by the ANC, giving the party another five years to govern Kouga.
During that time we have seen write-off’s totalling millions of rand and a steadily declining infrastructure.
At a Council meeting held in St Francis Bay last year, the Council decided to write off a whopping R 465 million.
“Unauthorized expenditure totalled R 364.9m, fruitless and wasteful expenditure totalled R 31.4m and irregular expenditure was R 69.1m.
All these exorbitant expenses and irregular expenditure occurred over a period of 5 to 6 years and it is a clear indication of extremely poor administration,” said Chimpie Cawood, the leader of the DA in Kouga at the meeting.
Money that should have been spent on maintaining and upgrading our infrastructure was sadly squandered and the results is evident to all residents.
Potholes abound, especially after heavy rains, sewage spills are commonplace and water leaks occur with regularity.
But, will things change in the 2016 election?
Early indications are that the DA, the official opposition in Kouga Council with 14 seats (compared to the ANC’s 15 seats) are in with a strong chance to win Kouga.
However, once again minority parties are contesting the election and could cause the same mayhem that was caused in the 2011 election.
In 2011, the ANC won 49,02 % of the vote, while the DA won 47,77 % which gave the ANC their one seat majority on Council.
The Freedom Front+ won 0,76 % of the vote, with Kouga 200 winning 0,71 % with independent candidates winning 1.64 %.
Those minority votes, had they been cast for the DA, would have given the DA a winning majority in Council.
“Instead, the minority votes effectively gave the election to the ANC and doomed Kouga to another 5 years of mismanagement, maladministration and poor political leadership, which resulted in a lack of service delivery, corruption and a declining job market,” said Elza Van Lingen, the DA’s mayoral candidate in Kouga.
“The DA has a track record of turning former ANC run Municipalities around and one only has to visit Paarl, Hermanus and even the city of Cape Town to see what has been achieved and what is possible for the Kouga.
The local government election is all about service delivery and residents will be casting their vote for a better quality of life with improved infrastructure and a safer living environment or wasting their vote and the potential of another 5 years under ANC rule in Kouga,” added Van Lingen.
A political party needs at least 3 500 votes to win a PR seat. From the infographic depicting results in the 2011 election, it is extremely doubtful that any minority party will come close to achieving this number of votes.
The election takes place on 3 August this year.
Source: Our Times