ANC haircut drive takes the crown on ways to woo voters

EFF sticks to tradition of town hall gatherings

ANCYL NEC member Avela Mjajubana interacts with members of the community.
ANCYL NEC member Avela Mjajubana interacts with members of the community.
Image: X

The ANC in Mpumalanga has dumped the traditional way of campaigning ahead of the general elections after  giving free haircuts and hairstyles to woo voters at the weekend.

Mlumati zonal elections coordinator Bheki Mokone said they decided to charm parents by beautifying them and their children. 

Over the past couple of days, other political parties have been seen joining protests and setting up soup kitchens as part of campaigning ahead on the May 29 elections. 

ActionSA was seen picketing with the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) security officers and cleaners.  

Rise Mzansi had a weekend-long initiative of soup kitchen work while uMkhonto WeSizwe Party (MK Party) distributed water using tankers with their logo on it in KwaZulu-Natal.  

Mokone said as their campaign suggests, they decided to put a twist on the traditional door-to-door campaign. 

Sowetan has seen ANC members in party regalia setting up a street  hair salon, under the cover of an ANC-branded gazebo. 

"As young [party] members, we decided as we go about the door-to-door campaign, we need to think of an idea to catch the voters' children.

The ANC in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga giving free haircuts and hairstyles to voters and their children.
The ANC in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga giving free haircuts and hairstyles to voters and their children.
Image: Mandla Khoza

"So, we thought we should give them a haircut or other hairstyles. Men know that a way to a woman's heart is through her children. So we are doing just that ... showing love to the children of voters," said Mokone.  

He said they raised money to buy hair clippers and products.  "We have guys who know how to do haircuts and ladies who know how to [plait] hair well.

"We go with them as members of the ANC and while we talk to the potential voters, we look at the children and fix their hair. We know some voters use different products hence some have come with their hair products and we use them to do their hair. At first, our target was the children but elders too wanted to be beautiful," said Mokone.  

He said the programme started at ward 29, Buffelspruit, and went to ward 6, Dludluma, and more wards are following.  

"We started to gain momentum as of last week, where we saw more wards engaging in the programme. Now when wards do their door-to-door, they bring along the hairstylists of the ANC to do these beautiful hairstyles," said Mokone.  

Sipho Shongwe from Buffelspruit said his child is a reminder of who to vote for in the upcoming elections.  "After his haircut, he has not stopped talking about the ANC salon. Today, he even asked if they are coming back. He's a reminder to vote for the ANC for me," said Shongwe.  

Lethu Ntimane, who had her hair and that of her daughter done, said she was happy and had saved money.  

"I was preparing to go and do my hair at a salon, which would have cost me R250 and R150 for my daughter. I saved all that money because one lady from the ANC came with hair extensions and I chose the colour [I wanted]. I'm going to use that money for food. These people have helped me. I thought they were joking," said Ntimane. 

ActionSA public service leader Nompumelelo Edward said marching with JMPD employees is one of their ongoing campaigns to tackle outsourcing. 

“We believe that the government should not be outsourcing critical skills such as security officers or cleaners. And we are also helping and showing support to security guards and cleaners who camped outside [the offices] for nine days following their termination and that is the type of work we believe in,” said Edward. 

Rise Mzansi spokesperson Mabine Seabe said instead of hosting a rally to congratulate themselves on their first anniversary, they sought to celebrate with the communities. 

“As part of our ongoing work to work in communities, where resources are available to erect soup kitchens, we have one in Nelson Mandela Bay, where it’s able to run weekly. We decided to have a nationwide weekend of service, where all nine provinces had erected soup kitchens, either on their own or supporting existing soup kitchens,” said Seabe. 

Julius Malema addressing residents of Laudium at the manifesto town hall meeting.
Julius Malema addressing residents of Laudium at the manifesto town hall meeting.
Image: EFF/X

Seabe said they do this to highlight the issue of hunger in the country. “We have 20-million people facing food insecurity or simply going to bed hungry every night,” said Seabe. 

MK Party national spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said the initiative to distribute water was a way of filling in the gaps where the government has failed to deliver. 

“The initiative was launched two weeks ago. Whenever there’s lack of service delivery [that] is where we want to come in and fix [things],” said Ndhela. 

“We wanted to be different in how we approached problems that came to us from the community, and these water tankers are just the beginning, we have more plans for communities to make them better." 

Gauteng EFF chairperson Nkululeko Dunga said traditional campaigning has always been the most effective way for the party.

Party leader Julius Malema spent the weekend convening townhall meetings in various areas. 

“It’s really about engaging with the community and being able to listen to them,” said Dunga.

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