Deputy President David Mabuza on Thursday used his vaccine drive to lobby for votes in the upcoming local government elections, saying: “Once you have registered, I will come back and tell you who to vote for.”
His remarks come a day after co-operative governance minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s announcement that South Africans will cast their votes in the local government election on November 1.
TimesLIVE reported on Wednesday that Dlamini-Zuma made the announcement after consultations with the SA Electoral Commission (IEC).
Mabuza, who is the government’s leader of the interministerial committee on Covid-19, made the remarks while conducting a walkabout in surrounding communities of Rustenburg, Kgetleng and Madibeng municipalities in Bojanala district in the North West.
The purpose of his visit was to engage on strategic interventions aimed at ramping up the Covid-19 vaccination rollout programme in the province, which is lagging behind.
Flanked by his bodyguards and in the company of newly elected North West premier Bushy Maape and health minister Dr Joe Phaahla, Mabuza took questions from the community in a bid to dispel myths and fake news about the vaccines.
“We are now done with answering the questions. It’s now time for me to ask you questions because I have answered yours. Are you now prepared to go and get vaccinated? Let me see by a show of hands, who is ready?” he asked.
“We need to have vaccinated 40-million South Africans by the end of December. In that way the whole country will be safe. We have only vaccinated 14-million — we are still behind and we need to pick up the pace because the virus is unabating.”
“One last message: go and register to vote. On [September] 18 and 19, the IEC will open all of its [registration] stations, go and register.
“One day I will come back and tell you, once you have registered, who to vote for. I will tell you that day when I come back. For today, please can we end it here,” said Mabuza.
Mabuza’s comments come after the IEC on Monday announced that by virtue of the Constitutional Court order that there should be another voter registration weekend, it could reopen the candidate registration process.
TimesLIVE reported previously that the IEC said not reopening candidate registration would be unfair. The ANC now has another opportunity to register candidates after a blunder saw the party fail to meet the deadline to put up candidates in at least 94 municipalities.
By Amanda Khoza – TimesLIVE