As ActionSA’s Mayoral Candidate for eThekwini, I am campaigning without political opponents for the people of eThekwini to compare and determine who they will vote for; a clear indication that transparency is not a major concern in other parties that are vying for the vote in eThekwini.
While other political parties are responding to this by claiming that ward candidates and manifestos are the basis of local government campaigns, the truth is that they do not have candidates that reflect any level of respect for the people of eThekwini.
Mayors determine the agenda of a municipality. They determine the institutional culture of service delivery, the tone for the fight against corruption and the direction on job creation. eThekwini’s former Mayor, stands accused of over 2700 counts of fraud and corruption, if anyone doubts the importance of a Mayoral Candidate.
The first in a series of Mayoral Debates have been called for this Friday, in a pre-recorded ENCA debate hosted by JJ Thabane. I have confirmed my intention to feature on this debate but who will I be debating against and what mandate they have from their parties?
I challenge the ANC, DA and EFF to announce their Mayoral Candidates before Friday’s ENCA debate and to do so publicly. Allow these individuals to attend the debate and let there be a contest of credentials and ideas of real Mayoral Candidates and not party functionaries. Above all else, I am challenging these political parties to demonstrate respect for the people of eThekwini in the same way you did in Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Cape Town, Nelson Mandela etc. eThekwini currently has a budget of R52.3bn for 2021/2022 and failing to declare the individual that will be tasked with ensuring that budget services the needs of the residents is a grave injustice. The people of eThekwini cannot be short-changed in this manner.
Instead of putting forward Mayoral Candidates in eThekwini, we are overwhelmed by election posters featuring heads of parties who will not be governing our city. These are not national government elections, posters featuring the likes of Cyril Ramaphosa or Julius Malema will do little for our people; it is a misleading and deceitful tactic that only serves to compromise the quality of our democracy.
Local government is the coalface of service delivery and impacts how people live, grow, work, experience life within the city. Therefore, we need to ensure that electorate has a real opportunity to evaluate whether Mayoral candidates are fit for purpose.
I am challenging all these political parties to take the people of eThekwini seriously and announce candidates that will stand for mayorship. Failure to do so prior to the scheduled debate on Friday 15 September 2021, will thus prove that ActionSA truly is the only political party that takes eThekwini residents seriously.