May 7, 2011
The ANC is seducing voters in Johannesburg's northern suburbs by throwing pool parties and treating them to high tea and sushi platters - and a private viewing of designer Malcolm Kluk's winter collection.
While Julius Malema and Helen Zille are firing up crowds in mainly poverty-stricken South Africa, the "comrade women" are adding a dash of elegance to the campaign trail ahead of the local government elections.
"In Soweto, you will have a mass meeting in Thokoza Park. Here you can have high tea at the bowling club or a cocktail function at the Park Hyatt," said Joyce Dube, the ANC candidate in ward 74, which includes one of the country's most affluent suburbs, Melrose, in northern Johannesburg.
Dube, whose mother, Elizabeth Motloung, used to work in Melrose as a maid, is gearing up for her first shot at public office .
She said her well-heeled neighbours included former cabinet minister Essop Pahad and businessman Ndaba Ntsele of mining and investment company Pamodzi Holdings.
Essop Goolam Pahad
Racist anti-White policies of the South African ANC govt."Don't pee on my leg and tell me its raining" well the same can be said for the blacks " They mustn't have 10 kids and tell me they are poor"
Dube kicked off her campaign with a gathering at a trendy Norwood restaurant last week to address some of the country's black diamonds. She roped in tycoon Sello Rasethaba as a guest speaker.
"We served sushi, but I promise it was on a platter, not on anyone's body," said Dube, a media and marketing specialist.
She said she also threw a pool party at her home, adding that her ward was made up of "old and new money" .
Fellow candidate Slauzy Mogami agrees on the need for a fresh approach to electioneering.
A wealthy businesswoman, Mogami said: "We realised that it cannot be business as usual. We had to look for creative ways of campaigning."
In ward 90, which covers the ultra-expensive suburbs of Hyde Park, Sandhurst and Dunkeld, Mogami kicked off with a cocktail function for businesswomen at her home in Sandhurst.
"I realised that people no longer love red wine as they used to. These days it's champagne."
On Tuesday, she hosted the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, as a speaker at a breakfast. She served a spread of salmon rolls, fruit kebabs and a hot buffet to about 50 guests at her home.
Her neighbours include Airports Company of SA boss Monhla Hlahla and MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa .
Airports Company of SA boss Monhla Hlahla
MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa
Today, she is scheduled to trek to nearby George Lea Park to host a Mother's Day picnic for domestic workers in the area.
Socialite and business executive Judi Nwokedi is another who hopes to win over voters in her area, known as "The Parks".
She has already treated domestic workers to a braai at Zoo Lake and hosted a dinner at swanky Bellagio on Friday night.
Nwokedi's ward, which includes the suburbs of Parkwood, Parkhurst and Saxonwold (home to the wealthy Gupta family), also arranged a private viewing of designer Malcolm Kluk's winter range on Friday night- with 10% of sales going towards her campaign.
Today, she is hosting a morning of "coffee and croissants" in Parkhurst, where, among others, Tselane Tambo is expected to attend.
On Thursday night, the ANC's candidate in ward 73, Nomaswazi Mohlala, mingled with guests at businessman Khehla Mthembu's mansion in Orchards.
Mohlala drew about two dozen residents and had her niece, the Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, as a guest speaker.
Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo
Part of the evening was dedicated to raising funds to set up an ANC ward office in the area.
Ward 73 includes the suburbs of Houghton, Killarney, Norwood and Oaklands, and boasts among its residents former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.
Joe Makhafola, Altech's group executive of corporate affairs and government liaison, signed a cheque for R50000.
Said an impressed guest Malusi Kekana: "Our branches meet at schools in Mawhwelereng. This is advanced."