In an energised speech at Irene in Gauteng during the opening of the ruling party’s elective conference for the province, party president Cyril Ramaphosa urged his members to work hard to regain the trust of ANC voters and the public at large.
In a wide-ranging speech that touched on dealing with the unhappiness about e-tolls, corruption, land reform, jobs, the economy and several other issues, Ramaphosa said that the party needed to see the electorate as a lover with whom the party had had a lover’s quarrel.
“If we forgot your birthday, we’re sorry, but we will work to fix it,” he said. He said the party should go and “look for love” from voters.
Cyril Ramaphosa wants ANC to go and look for "love back" from voters. #ANCGP
Uyangthanda na LOADING…. pic.twitter.com/25YYiI3IUH
— Bulelani Phillip (@BulelaniPhillip) July 20, 2018
He urged the party to prioritise service delivery, run clean government and win back the trust of the public. The Gauteng ANC was always the most openly opposed province to the rule of former president Jacob Zuma.
He and the ANC are riding a renewed wave of optimism since Zuma’s recall, with a recent Ipsos poll suggesting the party could get 60% or more of the vote in next year’s elections.
Ramaphosa, however, was quick to warn ANC members in Gauteng not to be complacent. The party took a beating in the province in 2016, losing all major metros except Ekurhuleni to the opposition. However, disenchanted voters appear to have indicated they may be willing to support the ANC again.
“We must ensure we do not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” Ramaphosa urged.
Ramaphosa: Return the billions stolen through corruption.
Also Ramaphosa: keeps Dlamini, Mokonyane and Gigaba in cabinet. https://t.co/4sInzz3qCM
— Kerry Mauchline (@kerryjm) July 20, 2018
Meanwhile, it was reported that ANC NEC member Mduduzi Manana, who was convicted of assault last year, was booed as he was introduced to delegates at the ANC Gauteng conference being held in Pretoria.
As we move to the elections our people will be expecting an ANC that can provide leadership, basic services, sanitation. One they can embrace. Let us not be complacent.
— Gauteng ANC (@GautengANC) July 20, 2018
Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma received loud cheers and clapping when introduced before Manana.
The hotly contested position is that of deputy chairman. The fiercest contests are between education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, economic development MEC Lebogang Maile and former Johannesburg region chairman Parks Tau.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura is expected to be elected chairman unopposed.