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The people have spoken,’ says KZN ANC as support drops to 42%

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has provided insight into future plans for the province where it lost majority status as its support dropped to 42% in last week’s municipal elections.

Addressing the media on Monday on a wide range of issues, including Covid-19, premier Sihle Zikalala expressed concern at the low voter turnout, but admitted “the people have spoken” and declared that there should be no outright winner in the province.

“This is a clear message that they want political parties to work together through the democratic process of co-governing KwaZulu-Natal.”

Zikalala said in a number of incidents after the elections, insults were hurled at officials.

“Since last Monday’s elections, we have noted a few unpleasant scenes in which certain people were seen toyi-toying and ‘demanding keys’ to certain buildings. Others were engaging in other forms of provocation. These were accompanied by insults hurled at municipal officials, who are public servants and not politicians.”

He said public servants should be allowed to carry out their duties without interference or victimisation.ADVERTISING

“Any practices to the contrary must be reported to the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, so that these incidents can be dealt with immediately.”

Coalition talks are under way in 20 local municipalities and one metro.

Zikalala said the challenges that may arise in hung municipalities should not be underestimated.

“We trust that parties will continue persuading each other and avoid political theatrics that may end up paralysing municipalities and hamper the delivery of services. No-one should drop the baton, for it is the very lives of our people which will be at stake if we, as elected representatives, waste time instead of finalising this process within the set time.”

Because the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) published the local government elections results on Monday, municipalities are required to be constituted by November 23.

“District municipalities, on the other hand, are required to convene 14 days after the last local municipality in that district constitutes itself. This means that district municipalities will be constituted at different intervals. However, the last date for such constitution is December 7. The district elections will be facilitated by the IEC.”

Fake news

Zikalala denounced claims on social media that the Covid-19 lockdown was relaxed only to allow for the elections to take place, and that after the elections government would bring back a hard lockdown.

“What is even more worrying is that even educated members of society, who must know better, were also making these claims. As far as we are concerned, these are just baseless allegations. Even though our Covid-19 numbers are fluctuating, there is nothing to suggest that there will soon be a hard lockdown.”

Covid-19 update

He expressed relief that the rate of new infections in KwaZulu-Natal remains relatively low. The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases stands at 515,892. On Sunday, the province recorded 64 new cases.

He was unhappy with the rate of vaccinations in the province.

“Up to this point, 3.337-million people have been vaccinated. This leaves us with 4.791-million people to vaccinate by the end of this year, which is no small job.

“While we are pleased that 955,048 people from the 60-plus age group have been vaccinated, we are concerned by the relatively lower numbers within the 35–49 and 18–34 age groups.”

TimesLIVE


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