Mabahare Kekana aims for a seat in parliament

Forum 4 Service Delivery president Mbahare Kekana said his party has done well provincially and managed to have councillors in six provinces. He said now it is time for his party to make its mark at the national level.

Kekana said this after casting his vote at Modiredi Primary School in Mahikeng on Tuesday. He said his party has managed to penetrate some of the municipalities in the province without campaigning.

In the North West, Forum 4 Service Delivery saw itself having its own member as a mayor at the embattled Ditsobotla Local Municipality.

Small party punching above its weight

The municipality was marred by issues of corruption, non-payments of staff and lack of service delivery to the point that Clover, a company that used to hire over 3000 locals, left.

Mbahare said that ever since his members took over a year and a half ago, things started to shape up. He said that was because his party’s mandate was to provide 80% of service delivery and 20% of politics.
Gunning for ruling party

He said he will only say that this year’s general elections were successful if the ANC, which is the ruling party, gets less than 50% of votes.

“The picture must be clear; the ANC must get less than 50%. That will be the success of these elections, so that we can enter into coalitions and so that the country must be free from the shackles of corruption, service delivery and poverty. That is the success that we want to see come June 1,” he said.

Kekana raised concerns about voters having to use three ballots. “There was a lack of education from the IEC; the IEC seems not to be ready, and a lot of people still do not know what the third ballot paper is for,” he said.

He said besides the three ballots, the IEC still has voters whose names are missing on the voter list. “We still have a problem of dead people on the voter’s roll; the IEC must get its house in order so that we can produce free and fair elections,” he said.

Holding officials accountable

He said the party wants to massify itself. “We are very confident that we have worked very hard; we are contesting six provinces and we have done our level best,” he said.

He said his party has an eight-year track record at the local level. “So now we want to go a step further, that is, province and national so that we can give people service, we can make sure that people are held accountable, and make sure that the issue of corruption is the issue of the past. We can also change laws in terms of criminalising lack of services,” he said.

He said if voters trusted them during the last elections, this time around, they should be looking at increasing the numbers.

“We have delivered like in Ditsobotla, where we intervened when employees worked for three months without salaries. As we speak, there is stability; there is an issue of no confidence every month, but as we speak, we are one-year-six-months in that municipality, and there are a lot of achievements that we have done in terms of service delivery.”

Service delivery improving

He said ever since councillors from his party joined municipalities, the AGs’ audit opinions at Ngaka Modiri Molema, Moretele and Taung have improved.

“Every election, there is an improvement; there is growth. We are moving from one pillar to another and you need to know that six months is too much, but after eight years we are still standing tall, hoping that come June 1, we will be announced as the winners to go to parliament.”

He said his party has managed to be where it is without any funding. “The ground is not level because parties in parliament are getting money to contest with us but the new parities and parties at the local level and independent candidates don’t get any money; just two weeks ago, the big political parties were given R35 million to contest against us,” he said.

Kekana said people were tired of those parties in parliament. “They [the voters] want to see parties like Forum 4 Service Delivery getting inside there,” he said.

He said other parties have more than 10 years in government but that they have nothing tangible that one can actually point out.

“As Forum 4 Service Delivery, you go to the ground, people are happy about us and we are so visible. We have worked extremely hard within the capacity of the party.”

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