The Democratic Alliance has pulled off a stunning victory in snatching the Umngeni municipality from the ANC.
Despite infighting among the ruling party’s local leadership, which had hobbled service delivery – leading to complaints about potholes, interruptions in electricity supply, crime and grime in the town centre and surrounds, poor refuse removal services, verges not being cut and cleaned up and so on – it was a hard-fought race.
Under the leadership of Chris Pappas, the blue party said it was now ready to govern Umngeni. In a short article on its website it said: “To the people of Unmgeni we say: ‘Thank you for putting your trust in the DA. We will not disappoint you. But know that your vote is just a five-year contract, and that the DA will need to earn the right for that contract to be renewed in 2026.’”
A spokesperson for the ANC said the defeat had been expected and the loss of the municipality was down to infighting.
Strikes and instability
As reported by News24, ANC KZN spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said: “We had expected [this]. If you remember, issues of Umngeni have been there for the last two years. There have been strikes and instability, and infighting within that municipality. We even had to change the leadership to try to bring stability.”
Good luck to the DA, it’s a big opportunity to show South Africans desperate for good governance and accountability how things can be done better. The community will be watching with great interest and expectation.