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DA’s Helen Zille on the campaign trail in Belfast


In the run-up to the national elections on 7 May, the Democratic Alliance’s “pocket dynamo” Helen Zille recently managed to fit in a flying morning visit to voters in a chilly Belfast as part of her Mpumalanga campaign trail.


Despite the early hour and the decidedly “fresh” temperature, there was a lively turn-out of numerous blue-clad DA supporters who sang and danced whilst waiting for Mrs. Zille’s arrival. And they were not disappointed when Zille took to the stage in a whirlwind of activity that immediately captured everybody’s attention with a hard-hitting and scathing attack on the ANC and the poor performance of the ANC-controlled Emakhazeni Local Municipality (ELM). Mrs. Zille went on to deplore the poor performance of the ANC government in general and, in particular, their appalling track record when it comes to service delivery and infrastructural development in both the ELM area and in Mpumalanga in general. “Mpumalanga is one of the tourism jewels of this country,” Zille said. “It should be nurtured and developed, not allowed to decline to the point that visitors to this beautiful province are discouraged from visiting by the lack of infrastructure such as decent roads and facilities.”


Zille went on to remind her attentive audience of the basic ground rules of good governance. “The role of good government is to create conditions where thing work. Not create conditions that cause problems. Good government attracts investment and creates opportunity. Good government makes the difference” she said. ELM and the conditions prevalent within the municipal area did not escape Zille’s notice either. In a frank address, Zille went on to point out: “In Emakhazeni, funds that were allocated for the maintenance and development of infrastructure within the municipality have been used to pay salaries. It is only when local infrastructure collapses from neglect that people begin to see the problems. By that time, it is often too late!”


Speaking throughout her address in a variety of languages, Zille proved popular with her audience as she touched on numerous issues that are of great concern to local residents. She concluded by urging voters to vote with minds and not with their hearts if they wanted to make a lasting change in conditions both locally as well as nationally in the coming national elections. “Good governance makes a difference,” she repeated. “And South African voters should always remember that bad governments are elected by good people who don’t vote!” As in all elections, it will, on 7 May, come down to the ballot box to once again decide the fate of ELM residents – for not only the present, but for the foreseeable future. Don’t forget to vote for your candidate on 7 May – whoever they may be.

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