Giovedì, 11 Febbraio 2016 22:12 | No razzmatazz as Mantashe fails to show at pre-election walkabout

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Cape Town – If ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashehad arrived as advertised for a visit to the suburb of Mbekweni in the Bolandhe would not have found many people home for a

chat and a cup of tea.

The area is in harvest season. Trucks and tractorstrundled along hauling soft green and deep purple grapes down roads lined withwell-known wine estates.

After a long session in Parliament for President JacobZuma's State of the Nation address on Thursday night, it may have been a littleambitious to have planned walkabouts for the next morning.

But with local government elections this year, thecampaign trail is firmly under way, with the ANC determined to erode theDA's hold on the Western Cape.

Mbekweni falls in the Drakenstein municipality where anestimated 23% of residents are unemployed. The monthly wages for unskilledemployees is estimated at between R1 400 to R4 200.

The municipality serves a population of slightlymore than 200 000 with an annual increase of 4 200.

Recently the Western Cape government's agriculturedepartment said that seasonal workers in the wheat and fruit belts of theprovince are increasingly opting to carry on living near the farms wherethey work.

This is putting pressure on local municipalities whichhave to step in to provide water and sanitation.

There have been protests in the area because there arenot enough houses for everyone.

A new housing project lines a part of Jan van RiebeeckDrive, but the shiny corrugated-iron add-on rooms indicate that housing isstill at a premium in the area.

There was no immediate explanation for Mantashe's noshow, but none of the usual razzmatazz of political party visits was evident inthe suburb.

Jessie Duarte's entourage fanned out in Mitchell's Plain.Zuma was supposed to have visited Khayelitsha, but also cancelled.

Many people who spoke to News24 said they had not watchedthe State of the Nation address so they could not say what they thought of it.

But taxi driver Norman Mehlo said there was "fokkolnice" about the early exit by Cope and the EFF.

"We must respect Parliament,'' said Mehlo, waiting forcustomers.

Fellow taxi driver Welcome Zaku said that if a politiciancame along with a magic wand before the elections, he would wish for ''moneyand work".

A few people said they were "foreigners" so they had noright to say anything or wish for anything from the government.

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