ANC, DA battle for Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn seems to be the main combat zone between the ANC & DA in several by-elections.

Oudtshoorn seems to be the main combat zone between the ANC and DA in the national by-elections.

CAPE TOWN - It seems Oudtshoorn will be the main battleground between the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) in national by-elections scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

Twenty-one municipal wards will be contested in five provinces, including KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. Three wards are up for grabs in Oudtshoorn, which is an ANC stronghold.

The DA's Ivan Meyer said if they win just one of the wards, they will control the Oudtshoorn municipality.

"It's very important that we establish ourselves in Oudtshoorn, to clean up that particular municipality of all the corruption."

But the ANC's Songezo Mjongile said he was confident the little Karoo town would remain in their control.

"We have gone out to that community to recommit ourselves and work hard with the community."

Mjongile said they were not bothered with by-elections in Hermanus and George, as those were DA strongholds.

Meyer said he was confident the party would clinch most of Wednesday's by-elections.

"The DA is very confident about the current wards in Overstrand, Bergrivier, George and Bitou. There are three contested wards in Oudtshoorn, which we're also determined to make a significant breakthrough in."

On Monday, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) urged the public to get involved and vote in the countrywide by-elections.

It said citizens must exercise their democratic right by voting for a ward councillor to represent their community.

Western Cape Electoral Officer Courtney Sampson said he hoped the elections would be free and fair.

"We want peace, respect, decency and dignity. We want an opportunity for people to be proudly South Africans when they go and vote."

He said it was the mandate of new ward councillors to improve service delivery in their communities.

More than 80,000 votes have been registered in 99 districts across the country.