The African National Congress (ANC) intends stepping up its election campaign by holding two major rallies in the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) ”heartlands” of Ukhahlamba and Amajuba in KwaZulu-Natal.
ANC spokesperson Nomfundo Mcetywa said on Thursday these are the places were the party had made ”significant inroads”.
The first ANC rally would be held this Saturday at the AG Magubane Stadium, while the second rally was expected to take place at Emadadeni College on Sunday.
The IFP was also expected to holds its provincial manifesto launch at Durban’s Curries Stadium on Saturday.
Meanwhile, ANC recruitment strategy in KwaZulu-Natal was attracting large numbers of people from other political parties, provincial party chairperson Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday.
”The recruitment strategy is netting large numbers of members from other parties moving to the ANC, which can only be described as floods,” Mkhize told an ANC lekgotla (meeting) in Port Shepstone.
”The appeal of the ANC policies [and] the peaceful climate in many areas has created a situation where people can choose to join and vote for the ANC more freely than they have hitherto done,” he told provincial executive committee members.
Mkhize said they had been to a number of areas to receive scores of newly recruited members from various parties.
The fact that the ANC had recently won three wards previously controlled by its rival, the IFP, indicated the ANC was growing, he said.
”We urge comrades to go all out to recruit more supporters and voters to back the ANC. The ANC has to win, win decisively,” said Mkhize.
The ANC gained control of the province in 2004 after it was trounced twice at the polls by the IFP.
The IFP recently vowed to regain the control of the province in what political pundits say will be a hotly contested election.
Although he was happy with the number of people who had joined the ANC, Mkhize raised concerns about possible violent hot spots ahead of the elections on April 22.
”The ANC remains of the firm belief that the emergence of violence and no-go zones is not desirable as it has potential to undermine ANC victory at the polls.
”Violence casts a very negative image about our democracy of which the holding of the free and fair elections is the most important measure,” he said.
Durban hostels, such as the Jacobs and KwaMashu hostels, were hot spots, he said.
”There is a strong impression of these hostels as being awash with illegal weapons in which there has never been any effort to disarm the inhabitants to rid the hostels of these dangerous weapons.” — Sapa