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PORT ELIZABETH – The race for the hotly contested Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is hitting boiling point.

Politicians from the major parties campaigned in Kwazakhele on Thursday and spent time slamming each other with insults and accusations.

Residents made it clear that they didn’t want to be sweet-talked, ahead of next month’s municipal elections.

In the latest eNCA poll, the African National Congress has recovered some support, but the Democratic Alliance is still way ahead of the governing party.

“Every five years the elections passes, they promise they will do this and that, after that you will never see them again,” said Nothemba Nikani, a  Ramaphosa settlement resident.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane accused President Jacob Zuma of using the SABC to try and capture the state.

“Jacob Zuma is fundamentally corrupt. He can’t tell the truth when it’s blatantly before him,” he said.

Maimane also offered to resign if he doesn’t deliver on his promises.

“I’m so invested in the DA, we the DA must deliver and if we don’t, I myself will resign,” he told residents of Booysens Park.

“We are the only government that can deliver, the ANC has long neglected the people. Our focus it to create work particularly in the Northern Areas because people just don’t find work,” Maimane said.

DA mayoral candidate Athol Trollip said that it was unacceptable that residents had to choose between rectification or the rebuilding of their houses.

“It’s not a choice, there are thousands of houses built so poorly that we will have to rebuild them. A lot of them have to be completely demolished.

“In Veeplaas today [Thursday] we saw houses that were uninhabitable. What I’ve realised is that taking people out of a shack and into a brick build house without having anyone in that house earning an income doesn’t make any difference.

“Poverty in a brick house is the same as poverty in a shack. We need to make sure that there is income coming into homes that subsidises elderly people on grants. At the moment, the elderly subsidise the whole family because people aren’t working,” said Trollip.

INFOGRAPHIC: Sort through eNCA poll results for the City of Johannesburg according to age, race and income demographics.

In another part of Kwazakhele, ANC NEC member, Fikile Mbalula, introduced the party’s councillor candidates.



He urged locals to rally behind the party after weeks of protests over candidate lists.

“We are confident we have been able to attend to all the challenges on the ground and we say, trust what you know rather than what comes with promises and of which they cannot fulfill,” said Mbalula.

He also took a swipe at the DA, saying locals must come out in their numbers on election day to counter what he called the enemy.