United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, Bantu Holomisa has interacted with residents in Port Elizabeth as the party is on the last push for votes for the August 3rd elections.
This is Holomisa’s second visit campaigning in the hotly-contested Nelason Mandela Bay Metro.
He held two public meetings in the Ramaphosa informal settlement and Salamntu where he introduced the ward candidates for the two areas.
UDM’s strong hold is in rural areas in the Transkei region of the Eastern Cape, but the party is now targeting urban areas including Nelson Mandela Bay.
The party is confident that it will make inroads in the Metro after clinching ward 30 in Port Elizabeth in by-elections last year.
The ward, which is made up of Veeplas and KwaMagxaki , was previously under the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) and is a strong hold of the party.
Holomisa says, “You will recall the UDM caused an upset last year when it jumped from 1% to 49 % beating the Democrtaic Alliance (DA) and the African National Congress (ANC), we have potential in this area.”
In its drive to win the Metro the party has chosen part veteran and its Regional Chairperson, Mongameli Bobani as its mayoral candidate when it launched its provincial manifesto in Port Elizabeth.
Holomisa, in his campaign trail, urged people to vote for change.
“We call upon all persons of Nelson Mandela Bay to go out and vote for the people of their choice in doing so they must know this country is blessed to have a multi-party democracy. In other words if the ANC, which was running this municipality, has not performed well on August 3 they are being given an opportunity to replace the ANC with the party they think would be competent enough to improve the quality of service here.”
In the Ramaphosa informal settlement in KwaZakhele people complained about service delivery in the area.
Some of them believe the UDM is the party to change their fortunes.
A resident says, “Holomisa, he will change our place and we need electricity and some of us do not have IDs.”
“We are unemployed as the youth and we do not have enough skills even if we go to FET colleges we do not get bursaries, there is always corruption going there,” says another resident.
The UDM has not ruled over the possibility of a coalition to govern the Metro if it does not get the required percentage to govern.
The party currently has two seats in the municipal council.