The ANC must keep in touch with what is happening on the ground through its programmes, West Rand district municipality mayoral candidate Boyce Maneli says.
“It is clearly for us to accept that the voters have made a decision,” he said. “That this is how they want to see things. Ours will have to be to go back and work.”
The ANC suffered a blow last week in Mogale City when the DA and EFF formed a coalition in the council to defeat it. But Maneli, the ANC’s regional chairperson in the West Rand, says his party still controls most of the constituencies in Mogale City. “Out of 39 wards the ANC has got 28,” he said.
The ANC lost vital votes in Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Mogale City. The ruling party’s support fell below 50% in all these cities. “We are satisfied that we did everything possible but it was just that the voters responded differently,” Maneli said. “We need to understand why.”
Asked if the President Jacob Zuma factor contributed to the ANC’s dismal performance in the poll, Maneli replied: “At this point in time we have not really spent the time to analyse deeper what the real issues are.
“This is why we are going back to the people; to report back to them, so we understand what they raise.”
The SA Communist Party has said that voters punished the ANC because of a series of issues, including the controversial upgrades at Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla.
A council sitting at the West Rand district municipality that was supposed to elect a mayor and speaker of the new council was adjourned on Friday after an Independent Electoral Commission “error” that sparked fury. Maneli said among his tasks was to focus on improving basic services.