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With just a few days before South Africans cast their votes, local government elections are the focus in this edition of Business Day Spotlight.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Dr Sithembile Mbete, a senior lecturer in the department of political sciences at the University of Pretoria and programme director at Apolitical Academy SA, together with Natasha Marrian, deputy editor at the Financial Mail.

South Africans are set to cast their ballots on November 1 in local government elections after months of campaigns, in a vote that earlier in the year seemed uncertain would happen.

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The discussion begins with a look at how the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns have affected the style and manner with which political players have conducted their campaigns.

The panel then discusses the importance of these elections, with a particularly focus on the economic implications.

Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.
Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.

While the last set of local government elections focused on national issues, Marrian says this time around community and local issues, especially service delivery, have been dominant.

Mbete says getting these elections right is important for growing the economy as service-delivery issues affect all South Africans, as well as having an effect on businesses operating in certain communities. She says a lack of service delivery can hurt small businesses in particular as they usually don’t have the resources to build their own roads, water systems or infrastructure like some of the large corporates.

The session ends with a debate about the evolution and growth of coalition politics in the country.

Topics of discussion include: the importance of local government elections; the importance of these elections to the economy; the effect of the pandemic and lockdowns on campaigns; and the growth of coalition politics.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.


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