Johannesburg – Political parties on Wednesday used May Day to intensify the last push for votes in the run-up to next week’s elections.
Parties rolled out their leaders at May Day rallies to woo workers to vote for them.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane assured over a thousand supporters gathered at the party’s Western Cape May Day celebration that they were gunning for a provincial police service and rail system.
Maimane addressed his party supporters at the Cape Town Hillsong Church on Wednesday, where he was joined by Western Cape premier candidate Alan Winde. Winde said it was not acceptable that there was one police officer for every 375 people in South Africa, but one police officer in that province had to keep 509 people safe.
“We don’t want a corrupt and inefficient SAPS run by the ANC. We want a professional and honest police service under a clean DA government,” said Winde.
The DA-led province has been in conflict with the national government over a lack of police resources.
The party also said if voted into power in the general elections next week, it would take over the collapsing railways. Due to arson and vandalism, the collapsing railway system needs at least 88 train sets to run properly. Two train sets burnt to ashes at Cape Town station late last month were worth an estimated R33m, according to Metrorail.
Maimane said the only solution for an efficient railway was for the party to take it over from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).
“We need the best transport system in this country. We are sick and tired of trains breaking down, we are tired of arriving at work late because a train was burnt.
“We must ensure that a provincial rail system comes in here so more of our people can get to work on time,” said Maimane.
In Alexandra township in Gauteng, EFF leader Julius Malema used the party’s May Day rally to warn that they would arrest ANC leaders should they come to power.
Malema said Alexandra was a reflection of how black South Africans were abandoned by the ANC-led government.
“If you want to know what black people are subjected to all over the country, you must come to Alexandra. If you wanted to know what the ANC has done in the past 25 years, come to Alexandra,” he said.
The previous ANC-led government in the City of Johannesburg has been criticised over the expenditure of R1.6billion which was earmarked for the Alex Renewal Project.
“We don’t see any renewal here. All we see is a dirty, abandoned place. This is a place of forgotten people. (ANC treasurer general) Paul Mashatile must tell us where the Alexandra renewal money is,” Malema said.
Addressing Cosatu’s Western Cape May Day celebrations in Athlone, Mashatile urged the workers on Wednesday to come out in numbers on Wednesday to ensure that the governing party won the elections decisively.
ANC Treasurer General Comrade Paul Mashatile, delivers his key note address at #MAYDAY2019 Athlone Stadium Cape Town #Siyanqoba #GrowSouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/NRWRI8Q7VD
— #VoteANC (@MYANC) May 1, 2019
“We don’t want the ANC to win with a small margin. We want to be beyond 60%,” he said.
“We want a decisive majority on May 8, including here in the Western Cape. The Western Cape must come back home to the ANC,” Mashatile said.
Mashatile urged the workers to ensure that they first visited voting stations on Wednesday next week, which has been declared a public holiday.
“It is all good to say you love the ANC, but don’t wake up to vote. Then there is a problem,” he said.
Mashatile also urged Cosatu to continue to remind all workers of the country to vote for the ANC.