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Battleground Gauteng – The Chiefs and the Kingmakers: Who should be Gauteng premier after May 8? Who should you vote for?

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City Press and Rapport are co-hosting a political debate on April 16 that goes beyond the superficial electioneering to ask our public servants why we should vote for them. The debate, which recognises that Gauteng is likely to be the most hotly contested province, has invited those major parties with seats in the provincial legislature to come and make their case.

DA Gauteng premier candidate, Solly Msimanga, EFF premier candidate Mandisa Mashego, IFP provincial chairperson Bonginkosi Dhlamini, VF+ premier candidate Anton Alberts and a provincial ANC leader will be answering voter questions and tell us why we should give them our vote. Mondli Makhanya, editor of City Press and Waldimar Pelser, editor of Rapport will facilitate the discussion.

Makhanya says: “Gauteng may not be the biggest province in the country but it is the most important. It is not only the economic engine of South Africa and the continent, it also is the political and intellectual trendsetter. Having lost control of Tshwane and Johannesburg and holding onto Ekurhuleni by a toenail, the ANC will want to make sure the province does not follow suit.

“The opposition parties, on the other hand, are smelling blood and can tell that the ANC is vulnerable enough to either be ousted from power or forced into a coalition arrangement. The Gauteng battle is going to be the most enthralling and gripping one in this 2019 general election”.

Pelser says: “For the first time since 1994, control of Gauteng may slip from the ANC’s grasp, a risk of which the party was aware as early as 2014. Since 2014, much has changed: The ANC lost control of both Tshwane and Johannesburg metro councils to DA-led governments; Jacob Zuma, unpopular in Gauteng, was pushed out and replaced by the popular Cyril Ramaphosa; and national government has recommitted to the deeply unpopular e-tolls policy, against the wishes of the Gauteng ANC. Against this background, the opposition claim they can push the ANC to under 50%.

“We believe the public can benefit from hearing exactly where the five parties represented in the Gauteng legislature stand on key election issues, from the economy to land and the NHI. On 16 April, questions on all the key election issues will be put to candidates for premier as well as leaders from smaller parties that may end up deciding who becomes premier. We hope this will make a meaningful contribution to informing voters and to holding the politicians who say they can lead to account.”

This is your chance to ask the tough questions of your elected officials. Come and join us at this crucial debate. If you would like to have your question asked you can sms your question to City Press on 35697 using the keyword Battleground or to Rapport 34681 using the keywords SlagvanGauteng. SMSes cost R1:50

Battleground Gauteng will take place on Tuesday the 16th April at Media Park, 69 Kingsway Auckland Park, doors open at 5:30pm, there will be ample, secure parking, If you are coming straight from work food trucks Have Wings and Amelia’s Kitchen will be open for supper, refreshments and Coffee for any Occasion will be available from 5pm.

Battleground Gauteng will start promptly at 6:30pm and run until 8:30pm.

To secure your ticket, which includes refreshments and a chance to ask questions in person, email nnhlapo@citypress.co.za or liezel.delange@rapport.co.za.

Tickets are R150 and there is limited seating.

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