South Africans have “fired the last warning shot” to the governing African National Congress (ANC) and its alliance partners judging by last week’s local government election results, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Friday.
“We must demonstrate that we have listened to that final warning shot which seems to be saying stop factionalism in the movement while the working class is under siege … they [voters] expected that the ANC could do good to the promise of a socioeconomic and radical phase in our democracy to transform lives,” Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini told reporters in Johannesburg.
“We should prioritise the unity of the ANC; Cosatu has been saying please delay the ANC succession debate and deal with issues that people are not happy with.”
He said the nomination of candidate councillors for the local polls turned out to be “a very bitter pill” for the ANC.
“A noble democratic process to allow members of the ANC and communities to identify leaders as councillors turned to be a bitter pill and has backfired. A suggestion did flow from Cosatu that there should be a revisit of the process to exclude communities in this process … they have their say on election day to elect,” he said.
Dlamini said it had been evident that a ward in an ANC branch was not always in touch with the community, and that residents would turn down selecting a name from a ward list by suggesting their own leader from the community instead.
“The candidate wanted by the community and turns out not to be an ANC member then complicates the whole process. The role of the community comes at the right time, and the right time is election day where the people give credence to the ANC processes embedded in the communities.”
The ANC’s councillor nomination process was marred by conflict and killings, most of which took place in KwaZulu-Natal. Last month, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government announced plans to establish a commission of inquiry to probe the killings.
Although the ANC led with the most votes nationally, it lost ground in key metros such as Tshwane and the Eastern Cape’s Nelson Mandela Bay. The governing party failed to receive an outright majority in Johannesburg, Mogale City and Ekurhuleni. With no outright majority attained by the parties in the metros, coalitions have to be formed to govern.
The ANC top leadership is holding a national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Irene, Pretoria to dissect the outcome of the election results.
– African News Agency (ANA)