Posts Tagged ‘2016 Election’

Election results a blow against racial mobilisation

August 16, 2016

The results of the nationwide municipal elections on 3rd August are a repudiation of all those seeking to polarise South Africa along racial lines.

The great majority of whites voted for a party with a black leader. This is a neat answer to all those academics and journalists who in the past couple of years have been cooking up a witch’s brew they call “whiteness” that enables them to depict all white people as having racism baked into their DNA.

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Both the ANC and the EFF seem to have miscalculated about land. The ANC’s promises to “radically accelerate” land reform did not stem its losses in either urban or rural areas.

The EFF did well in some constituencies, but its overall support went up from 6.3% in the national election in 2014 to only 8.2% in the municipal poll.

The implication is that its promises to confiscate white land did not resonate as much with black voters as it no doubt expected.

This is not surprising. An opinion poll conducted for the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) last year showed that “more land reform” was just about the least of South Africans’ concerns.

They regarded more jobs and better education as very much higher priorities.

As for stealing, the municipal results show that a growing number of voters think thieves are not to be found among white farmers so much as among top politicians, town councillors, and municipal officials.

Mr Zuma’s depiction of white farmers as thieves was not the only example of how he stooped to venomous abuse in a manner reminiscent of Donald Trump, the American Republican presidential nominee.

The DA were “poisonous snakes”, he declared. Its leader was “a child of the oppressors”.

Mr Zuma said he could not fathom how blacks could lead or even support a white party. They should stop fighting each other because this simply “pleased the oppressors”, who still controlled the economy.

The DA, said the ANC’s national spokesman, Zizi Kodwa, was a “haven for racists”, its upper echelons dominated by individuals “who hark back to the days of apartheid”.

So there we have it. Where once the National Party used the supposed menace of “swart gevaar” to mobilise whites against blacks, the ANC is now using “wit gevaar” in an attempt to mobilise blacks against whites.

Lawrence Schlemmer, a one-time president of the IRR, warned fifteen years ago that sound race relations in post-apartheid South Africa could be jeopardised by racial mobilisation.

It is a warning that should never be forgotten, but the election results suggest that racial mobilisation yields diminishing returns.

The DA got eight million votes, of which fewer than half came from whites.

It has displaced the ANC as the political home for people of all races, which is a momentous development.

Voters, it seems, will not be so easily duped by racial stigmatising and scare stories.

Nor will they be easily deceived by populist promises about accelerated land reform as the answer to poverty.

Source: PoliticsWeb

All systems go for Municipal elections

July 22, 2016

With the 2016 Municipal Elections just around the corner on 3 August, the Electoral Commission (IEC) says all logistical preparations are on track.

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Special votes

The IEC has received 741 720 applications for special votes in the 2016 Municipal Elections – more than three times the number received in 2011 and nearly twice that received in 2014.

Of the 741 720 applications received, 719 225 were approved. This includes 315 597 (44%) applications for home visits and 403 628 (56%) applications to cast a special vote at the voting station.

Just over 1 200 special votes have been approved in Kouga.

Special votes will be cast on 1 and 2 August. Election officials will visit the addresses provided by voters who applied for home visits at some point over these two days.

They will only visit the address once. If the voter is not present, they will not be able to cast a special vote. These voters ought to be home as home visits are reserved for those largely unable to travel.

Those who applied to cast a special vote at their voting station must do so between 8 am and 5 pm on Monday 1 August or Tuesday 2 August. These are different from the voting hours of 7am to 7pm on Election Day.

A voter whose application for a special vote was approved but who for whatever reason was unable to cast a special vote may still cast their ballot at their voting station on Election Day.

The Electoral Commission said the increase in applications for special votes is an encouraging sign of significant voter interest in the 2016 Municipal Elections.

It said this is also a reflection of the simplification and accessibility of the application process, which for the first time allowed voters to apply online and via SMS.

Over 95 000 (approximately 13%) applications were received online and over 208 000 via SMS (approximately 28%).

Special votes were available for all registered voters including disabled, infirm and pregnant voters as well as members of the security forces, election officials, the media and any other voters, who are unable to visit their voting station on Election Day 3 August 2016.

The special voting process is subject to all the same security and integrity protocols of normal voting – including scrutiny by party agents and observers – along with additional checks including a double envelope system, which allows the special votes to be reconciled against the voters’ roll and special vote application system but still protects the secrecy of the voter’s ballot.

All special votes collected are stored securely overnight on 1 and 2 August – and are then opened, reconciled and added to the ordinary ballots cast on 3 August before counting begins.