The battle to win control of the hotly-contested King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) municipality looks set to be a four-horse race.
The ANC, UDM, DA and new kid on the block, the Mthatha Ratepayers and Residents’ Association (MRRA), are all vying for the top spot when ballots are cast tomorrow.
Having received close to 58% of the votes in KSD in 2004, the ANC saw its support in the troubled local municipality decline to just over 56.66% in 2009.
In 2009, the ANC received more than 73940 votes in KSD and in 2014, the number dropped to 68414 votes.
The UDM’s support grew from 33031 in 2009 to 42536 votes in 2014.
With less than 48 hours to go to the polls, the four contenders held their cards close to their chests as to whom they were fielding as mayoral candidates.
The Daily Dispatch understands that the DA are likely to field either Raymond Knock or Lindiwe Liwani, who appear third and second on the party’s list, respectively.
Knock has served in the council since 2011, would not divulge much information. “We will announce who our mayoral candidate is at the right time.”
While outgoing KSD mayor Nonkoliso Ngqongwa’s name initially appeared on the preliminary ANC candidates list for OR Tambo and not KSD, it has since been removed.
Outgoing council speaker, Dumani Zozo, has been punted as Ngqongwa’s likely successor, but speculation is rife that the ruling party is in discussions with Ngqongwa to come back as mayoral candidate in KSD.
This would make the tie for the position between Zozo and Ngqongwa.
“Speak to the ANC as I have no comment on this,” Ngqongwa said.
KSD council chief whip Zanemvula Gusana also refused to engage on the matter, saying they were waiting on the ANC to pronounce who the mayoral candidate choice would be.
UDM provincial spokesman, Mabandla Gogo, said the party did not nominate mayoral candidates before the elections. “[But] we do have someone in mind.”
Perched on top of the mayoral candidate list, are Mncedisi Bunzana, who is likely to face competition from Mzimkhulu Mpangele, whose name appears at number two on the list.
For MRRA, the battle for mayoral candidate elect is increasingly looking like a contest between deputy chairman Booi Malgas, who appears at number one on the list, and Monwabisi Wellington Malotana, at number two.
Malotana, who boasts vast experience in local government, worked as a town clerk in the previous Mthatha Transitional Local Council and as an official for a number of years. Malgas is a businessman with no previous local government experience.
MRRA public relations officer, Lungelo Mpongwana, would neither admit nor deny the speculation. He said the name for the mayoral candidate had not yet been discussed. — email@example.com