Independent candidate Tshiamo Malatji is determined to continue building despite results

In Mangaung metropolitan municipality in the Free State, the results coming in so far shows the African National Congress has over 40% of the vote. The Democratic Alliance (DA) has 35% of the vote. 

The municipality has been an ANC ward. However, in the 2021 elections, an independent candidate aimed to change that. Tshiamo Malatji from Ward 19 was contesting as an independent candidate. He ran his campaign under the banner of wanting “to take the politics out of political campaigning”. 

His main campaign message was that municipal resources should be used for the people that need it the most. “We need to build a community that works for everyone. Every single issue in our manifesto links back to the resources the municipality already has that people can use,” he said. 


In Conversation with Tshiamo Malatji, independent candidate

As the results are coming in for the various wards in Mangaung, the ANC has once again taken Ward 19. In a statement released on social media, Malatji said while they did not win the election, they are hopeful of working with people to build a community that works for everyone.

Speaking to The Daily Vox, Malatji said his campaign was run as an on-the-ground campaign which required a lot of trust from the community. He said the community is also quite divided on a number of factors which made it more difficult. 

Malatji said political parties are sometimes able to appeal to people’s fears and their current electorate. He said the electorate his campaign was trying to appeal to are those that don’t believe in the current electoral system.

“We understand their frustrations because it is true. So far into our democracy, services have not been provided to people. We’d like to challenge that legitimate anger and frustration into strong community structures,” said Malatji. 

Beyond the election campaign, Malatji wants to work within those structures to help the community. He also plans to lobby the elected government to ensure they provide services to communities. 

“The next few years are about building this movement – continuing from the momentum we’ve gathered. We only got about 1-1.5% of the vote and many might see that as a failure. But I see that as the start of building something from the ground,” said Malatji.