Date: 28 October 2021 By:
With the November 1 date for the local government elections getting closer, many potential voters are still unsure of where they want to draw their crosses. Many are dissatisfied with the current state of the municipalities and feel that a change in leadership is necessary. Others reckon that it is a case of “better the devil you know than the one you don’t”.
Whatever the sentiment, it is good to know that voters have many options this time around. In the Vhembe district, more than 1 500 candidates will vie for positions in the four local municipalities, as well as for the Vhembe District Municipality. The major political parties all have a presence, and in the most hotly contested municipality, Collins Chabane, no fewer than 22 parties have submitted names of candidates for proportional representation.
The candidates come in all shapes and sizes and in different age groups. No fewer than six 21-year-olds can be found, with 12 candidates being 70 years or older. The oldest candidate is the 79-year-old Tshinyadzo David Manyatshe, who stands as candidate for the International Revelation Congress (IRC) in Makhado’s Ward 29.
It is also not only the political parties that are putting up a fight for positions. No fewer than 49 independent candidates will also try and secure crosses from voters.
Two South African NGOs, OpenUp and Open Cities Lab, collaborated to make a searchable database of candidates available. By using this widget you can easily find out who the candidates in the various wards are. Simply input your address in the field below and the names should appear.
The challenge is then to decide which of those candidates are worth voting for. Which of the candidates are willing and (very importantly) capable of stopping the rot? For which of them is this simply a job application (often with the backing of a big “franchise”) or are there candidates who see this as a calling and are equipped with the knowledge to really improve the standard of living for all in their constituency?