The Democratic Alliance is confident it will come out on top, despite the ANC winning eight out of nine wards last month
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is confident it will win the Ward Six by-election, one of three by-elections under way in Tlokwe in North West on Wednesday.
"Under the previous councillor, which was an ANC member, very little was done, little public meetings and public participation," DA candidate for the ward Johann Coetzee said outside a voting station at the North West health department. "We believe the people of this ward deserve better and we can give them that."
The ANC's Japhta Monaisa and Lesego Malepe from the Azanian People's Organisation are the other candidates contesting Ward Six. There is no independent candidate.
The other two by-elections taking place are for wards 18 and 26, both of which were held previously by the ANC.
Coetzee said prior Ward Six councillor Lorraine Phakedi failed the community when it came to basic services such as road markings and addressing the people's needs. The only time she stood up and did something, by trying to fight corruption, she was fired, he said.
The DA and ANC set up tents outside the voting station to help voters check if they were registered. DA councillor Leon Basson said about 60 people had voted in the first hour that the station was open.
Coetzee says the DA worked hard campaigning and doing door-to-door visits in the area ahead of the elections. "People on the ground want a government that can speak to them and we believe we are in the best position to do that."
Phakedi was one of 14 councillors expelled by the ANC in July after its provincial disciplinary committee found them guilty on four counts of misconduct for participating in a motion of no confidence against then Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle.
DA councillor Annette Combrink replaced Maphetle.
The ANC's national disciplinary committee later overturned the expulsions and eight of the councillors have registered as independent candidates for the by-elections.
By-elections were to have been held in nine Tlokwe wards on Wednesday, but the Electoral Court in Bloemfontein ordered on Tuesday evening that five of them be postponed.
This followed an application by five independent candidates who were disqualified from taking part in the by-elections by the Independent Electoral Commission.
A sixth by-election, in Ward 13, was earlier postponed after an out-of-court settlement. – Sapa