PRETORIA – Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane on Friday said his party is channeling significant resources in its bid to seize the Tshwane mayoral position from the African National Congress during the upcoming 2016 local government polls.

“We are putting resources in the strategic metros and Pretoria/Tshwane is one. We will be investing heavily here. We have already made a significant investment,” Maimane told reporters in Pretoria.

“Money is tight but we have to put people and structures on the ground to work. We have also focused on the Nelson Mandela Bay and … Johannesburg. In those three big metros that we are looking to grow, they will get the lion’s share of the money and the resources.”

He said the DA was confident that Tshwane was the place “where we could really topple the ANC”.

“The ANC’s electoral results are going down. Secondly, the city of Tshwane has failed to deliver. If you go around the (Pretoria) city centre and the communities, there is absolutely no delivery. Furthermore, the ANC has no credibility on jobs and job creation. We are going to roll out a far bigger campaign. We want to ensure greater presence everywhere we go,” said Maimane.

“We also have a great candidate. He has shown that he works hard. He has been going around, interacting with voters. We believe that this time around, not only have we changed the election strategy, not only have we engaged more people on the ground – we have a much bigger chance of winning now.”

Maimane was flanked by DA Gauteng leader John Moodey and DA mayoral candidate for Tshwane Solly Msimanga.

Msimanga said he wants to build investor confidence in Pretoria and provide essential services in all corners of the city.

“Even if they move the elections by a month or two, the inevitable is here, we will take over this city and give people of this city the services they need. We will make sure that refuse gets removed in all corners of the city. Most importantly, we will make it easier for investors to say this is a city that we can invest in. We can make sure that young people get the chances they deserve,” said Msimanga.

“We have a plan. We can get this city to be the best city it was meant to be when Tata Mandela took over in 1994. This was supposed to be a capital city that every South African is proud of. Everybody who comes here, the diplomatic corps and the young people coming from other provinces to learn here, are not seeing a world class city that this city can be.”

He said the city was in dire need of a clean-up campaign.

“At the moment, bylaws are not adhered to. We have metro police officers loitering all over the streets but are not even enforcing bylaws. Let’s clean this city. Investors should look at the city and say ‘this is the city I want to put my money in’,” said Msimanga.

On Thursday, the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) said it was ready to run the 2016 local government elections, with preparations at an advanced stage.

Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya said logistics and staffing had been planned months ago, said

He said the IEC had 1,000 permanent staff members, and that it takes at least 20,000 people to run an election.

The IEC budget for the upcoming elections totaled R1.5-billion.

– Africa News Agency