DA sets its sights on JB Marks municipality in battle for North West

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DA leader John Steenhuisen says his party has identified the JB Marks municipality in the North West as a strategic target in the upcoming local government elections.

As he addressed party supporters in Potchefstroom on Thursday afternoon after a full day of campaigning in the town, Steenhuisen said he believed the DA could win the council.

The municipality has been hotly contested between the ANC and the DA. In the 2016 elections, the ANC narrowly won with 50.9% despite turmoil in its own ranks in the previous term, which saw its own members vote with the opposition to fire the mayor.

Steenhuisen’s visit follows that of president Cyril Ramaphosa, who was there to garner support on October 8.

“With your help, we can win here on November 1. In August of 2016, the DA won about 32% of the vote here, just 10% short of being able to form a majority government.

“The ANC went on to win the municipality with the slimmest of margins — 50.9%. Yho! That’s [almost a] fail. Five years later, what have they got to show for these five years in government? Absolutely nothing,” said Steenhuisen.

He said on his campaign trail he had met people who had raw sewerage running through their homes.

Steenhuisen further slammed the ANC over a billboard that claimed the municipality was the best-run in the land.

“That was the most shocking thing I have seen this whole campaign,” said Steenhuisen.

He said if JB Marks was the best-run ANC municipality, then the country was in deep trouble.

“Even the national Cogta minister has this municipality on the list of 64 municipalities which were regarded as dysfunctional. This municipality is one of 26 municipalities in South Africa that is under administration.

“If this is the best the ANC can do, well, that is the best incentive for South Africans around the country to go out and vote for a party that’s going to get things done.”

Steenhuisen said the ANC was making the elections about everything other than service delivery.

“They want to talk about race … They want to make the elections about Mr Ramaphosa. None of that matters.

“ These elections come down to one thing and one thing only — and that’s service delivery. It’s the only thing that matters in local government elections.”

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