The 2016 local government elections was the first local government election I covered as a journalist and it was exhilarating no less. The campaign started as early as January when the ANC held its January 8 rally. Since then it has been many up hills and down hills. I traveled to Rustenburg, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Durban (to name a few) in covering politicians and their promises for South African citizens. The Sunday Times gave me the space and platform to cover issues and areas in depth which I think helped me grow as a journalist. The culmination of the election season often leaves me exhausted and reflective too. The hub word since election has been ‘coalitions’ as the ruling party failed to get a majority in three key metros in Gauteng. There is also 23 other municipalities which are hung- meaning there has not been an outright winner.
My colleagues who work in the multimedia division of TimesLive asked me to share my thoughts on coalitions and do a “coalitions for dummies” video for them. Despite looking awfully ratchet as a result of not sleeping more than four hours a night for a while, I agreed. It is important for people to know what it would mean for them now that that the EFF has the role of Kingmaker in deciding who they agree to form a coalition with. This election was also a shocker for the ANC as their support took a massive dip.
The Sunday after elections is often a big one for weekend newspapers as it is ought to provide readers with insight as to what the election means for them and to show what may be happening behind the scenes. It was an exciting election which was fiercely contested and so it was not extraordinary that the interest was unprecedented. My colleagues and I went behind the ANC’s efforts to try to woo the EFF and its leader Julius Malema to agree to work with them and not with the ANC in an effort to keep hold on the country’s biggest metros; Johannesburg, Pretoria an Ekhuruleni. Here is a look at some of the work I did for the election edition last Sunday. You can read it online HERE,HERE and HERE