Opposition councillors at Phokwane Municipality now outnumber ANC councillors after the EFF won Ward 3 in a by-election on Wednesday.
OPPOSITION councillors at Phokwane Municipality now exceed the number of ANC councillors after the EFF won Ward 3 in a by-election on Wednesday.
The ANC now has nine seats in council, while the EFF has five, the DA has two and the FF+, the Phokwane Service Delivery Forum and the Forum for Service Delivery each have one seat.
EFF candidate Olebogeng Tumodi, who was serving as the Phokwane municipal mayor and was expelled by the ANC, won the ward by 55.6 percent.
Tumodi won the ward during the 2021 local government elections when he was an ANC candidate with 47.7 percent.
ANC candidate Trevo Conrad Madlala secured 683 out of a total of 1 581 votes that were cast on Wednesday, while the PA candidate, Lerato Makena, received 19 votes.
There was a 59.6 percent voter turnout.
EFF provincial secretary Shadrack Tlhaole pointed out yesterday that the opposition now held 10 seats compared to nine ANC seats in council.
“We will not be entering into any coalitions but are willing to enter into working agreements. We will never enter into a coalition of the ANC – we are not that desperate – unless they give us land and vote in line with our principles. The ANC is not even toothless – it is useless,” said Tlhaole.
He added that the EFF had won its first by-election in the country at Phokwane Municipality.
“We are not surprised at the outcome – we are focused on bringing service delivery to the community. The EFF commander in chief, Julius Malema, must refer to Phokwane Municipality during the 2024 national general elections as an example for change.”
Tlhaole stated that the EFF would only hand out relief packages in disaster-struck areas.
“The EFF will not stoop so low as to misuse government resources to entice voters with food parcels, R400 vouchers and blankets.
“We are committed to following through on our promises and rooting out corruption. We opened cases of fraud and corruption against Phokwane municipal officials and yet there has not been any progress on these investigations. The first item on the agenda is to implement the findings of the Section 106 investigation into irregularities at Phokwane Municipality. An audit must be conducted and the law enforcement authorities must be called in.”
He added that they would not fight for leadership positions in the municipality but would concentrate on service delivery.
“There must be a health centre built in Phokwane.”
ANC provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga denied that they used government resources to hand out blankets and food parcels to voters ahead of the by-election.
“The EFF complains when we don’t deliver services and when we do, they complain. Winter is coming and the people are getting cold, it is not the ANC – provincial government was delivering to its people,” said Ngxanga.
He added that the ANC was willing to enter into a coalition with any other party at Phokwane Municipality.
“We are now a minority party. We congratulate the EFF and do not take the outcome in a bad spirit. The EFF, who are now in charge of the municipality, will be responsible for improving services and we will play an opposition role.”
Ngxanga expected a motion of no confidence to be brought against the ANC mayor and Speaker at the next council meeting.
“There are consequences after losing the ward but we do not have an issue with a new leadership in council. We are sure the EFF will try their luck.”
Ngxanga believed that voters were disillusioned with service delivery issues, potholes and the ANC candidate.
“After the closing date to register candidates, we found out that the ANC candidate comes from Kimberley although he has been staying and working for years in the Phokwane district. He is well known in the area and is employed as a teacher.
“We will do better next time and reclaim the ward in future.”