By-elections fuel rivalry

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

A fresh round of local government by-elections begins tomorrow, with 27 ward councillor positions up for grabs in six provinces.

Fifteen by-elections will be held in Northern Cape, four in Free State, two each in Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

The Congress of the People's Eastern Cape leader Andile Nkhulu said it was vital for them to win the two by-elections in the Amathole district tomorrow "to send a strong message that we can govern".

The Amathole by-elections will be a litmus test for Cope in the Eastern Cape, as its only opposition there is the ANC, whose spokesman Carl Niehaus would only say that he was "confident that the ANC will do well in all the various wards".

Cope will not contest in the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal by-elections.