The ANC says it has listened to the voices of the people and accepted their judgment. This comes after the ANC suffered serious setbacks in the recent local government elections. The ANC has lost three powerful metros: Johannesburg and Tshwane to the DA.
The DA, EFF and smaller parties joined forces to unseat the ANC at these municipalities. The ANC’s poor showing in the elections has been attributed to the Nkandla scandal, among other things.
Briefing the media on coalitions in municipalities at Luthuli House today, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the ruling party would not rest until it had regained the confidence of the people. “The ANC must work harder,” Mantashe said. The ANC will embark on a listening campaign, starting from this weekend.
“We are going to listen and act,” Mantashe said. “We have listened to the voices of the people, accepted their judgement and must now deliver on their aspirations. These engagements intended to ensure that we understand and appreciate both subjective and objective factors that have led to the electoral outcomes and take decisive action against these.”
Mantashe said coalition governments established by opposition to govern in some councils represented a reversal of democratic gains and reassertion of power by “colonisers”.
“Many of these are not based on principle of serving the people but rather a common desire to remove the liberation movement from power at all costs,” Mantashe said. “They are characterised by inconsistent messaging that is devoid of any revolutionary commitment to defeat the real enemy of the people, monopoly capital. Oratory of rhetoric is used to project a revolutionary agenda when in reality the coalitions are a stance dictated by funders not dissimilar to the ill-fated DA/Agang merger.”
Mantashe called on ANC members and supporters not to be distracted by this “sound and fury signifying nothing” from opposition parties. “In municipalities we do not govern, members of the ANC are called upon to constitute an effective and activist opposition,” Mantashe said.
“Ours is not to block or delay service delivery but rather to protect the gains of our revolution and rally against any actions to reverse these.”
Mantashe said ANC must continue to be the fearless voice of the people. “We must guard against attempts to negate the strides made by blacks in general and Africans in particular through effective instrument created by the ANC such as affirmative action and black economic empowerment,” Mantashe said.
He said the negative narrative against President Jacob Zuma has hurt the ANC in the elections. Mantashe said the ANC was still grappling with the controversial security upgrades at Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla.