The ANC will “go back to the drawing board” to improve its performance in the 2019 national elections.
“We are quite happy with the work of the ANC. We have no reason to delegitimise the IEC [Independent Electoral Commission]. We want to emphasise that,” ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said.
“We have noticed that in major economic centres, we have slipped and we have a challenge on our shoulders to go back to the drawing board and relook into what is it that we are missing, work on it, improve and come back in 2019 to do much better.”
Mantashe’s comments followed the IEC’s official results announcement ceremony at its Results Operations Centre in Pretoria.
On the party being criticised by the opposition for using South African celebrities in its campaign ahead of the elections, Mantashe said: “There is nobody who is a citizen who can be used to campaign.
“Every citizen, whether you are a celebrity or not; whether you are from the rural areas … You are a citizen. ANC plans to come back stronger for 2019 polls “If you are a member of the ANC, you will campaign for your party. That is not ‘use’ of celebrities. Those celebrities who are not members of the ANC didn’t campaign for the ANC.”
EFF leader Julius Malema had accused the ANC of spending R1 billion on its campaign, including giving celebrities money and printing T-shirts.
Despite the party losing in major metros, including Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane, Mantashe said the ruling party had run a good campaign.
“We ran a good campaign. That we cannot take away. We slipped in some major economic centres, we noted that, but we will go away and come back in 2019.”
Commenting on the EFF walkout before President Jacob Zuma’s address to the nation on Saturday evening and the protest by four women in front of the podium, Mantashe said he was no expert on security matters.
“That’s not my area of speciality. I have never been in the secuSHAKEN.
We ran a good campaign. That we cannot take away. We slipped in some major economic centres, but we will go away and come back in 2019. Gwede Mantashe ANC secretary-general rity sector, so I would never comment as a specialist on security matters,” Mantashe said.
“I didn’t see the EFF, nor am I their member. I didn’t notice the walkout, so I can’t comment on it.”
But every South African has the right to protest, he said, with regard to the demonstration.
“A protest is a protest. People have a right to do so. That’s how free South Africa is. You can protest when the president is speaking; nobody disrupts you. You are allowed to protest.”