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JOHANNESBURG – Nelson Mandela Bay is the metro where the fiercest election race is being run.
Poll projections show the two major opponents in the leadership battle, incumbent ANC mayor Danny Jordaan and DA contender Athol Trollip, are neck-and-neck, with the elections just weeks away.
“I read last week with interest that Mr Jordaan said that it’s below him to have political debates. At first he said he would attend and that he’s not a politician, he’s a doer. Now if you live in the political realm and you pretend to be a mayor and you lead a political party then you have to be the mayor,” Trollip said.
Jordaan seems to be no rush to meet his opposition. The man who brought the 2010 World Cup to South Africa believes he’s best suited for the job, which he’s held since last year.
“No one needs to explain to me the struggle of electricity and water and of sanitation because we grew up without those things. No one explained to me why must provide decent housing and why we should address unemployment,” Jordaan said.
Trollip’s promising change, but he’s been criticised for not being a long-term resident of this metro.
Despite that, he says he’s well aware of the region’s problems.
“We’ve been campaigning for elections for months now. We’ve never run a campaign this big before. It’s never been this intense. I’ve visited every ward in this municipality twice,” Trollip said.
Election polls suggest the DA has a razor-thin lead in the metro.
“Our tracking polls are good. The Ipsos polls are good, but those are not the important polls. The most important polls are on August 3,” Trollip said.
“I look at it and march on. At the end of the day it’s a hit-and-miss in a certain way. Because for the majority of the people it’s merely a projection… But (by) large, the election will not be won by those who predict what the outcome is. You have to be on the ground,” Jordaan said.