Former North West premier and ANC provincial chair Supra Mahumapelo has said that a number of reasons led to the party’s failure to reach its 70% target at the provincial polls at this year’s elections.
These included voters being unhappy with the quality of service delivery, “the extent at which we stay in touch with them in between the elections”; and that the provincial government took longer to respond to issues raised by voters and voters’ unhappiness with some incomplete projects, such as housing projects, in the province, Mahumapelo said during a radio 702 interview on Wednesday.
Mahumapelo said another reason was “self-inflicted” due to “internal rivalries within the organisation”, which heightened after the Nasrec conference of 2017.
Despite the 6% drop in the ANC’s voter support in the province, Mahumapelo thanked voters for keeping the party in governance, though the party was unhappy about failing to reach its target.
He said it was critical that the party in the province looked at how it would overcome all these challenges.
Mahumapelo conceded that the party’s provincial leadership and its structures were to blame for the “self-inflicted” reasons that led to the reduced showing at the polls.
“But also our national executive committee [NEC] [is to blame] because some of the members of the NEC were not playing a pivotal, constructive political role in the province. Onstead of bringing us together, some of them decided to take sides,” he said, adding that communities and members of the ANC in the province were aware of this.
Mahumapelo said the party had learnt its lesson and hoped it would not repeat these transgressions in future.
He further explained that these NEC members had secretly visited North West and met with groups they would mobilise in pursuit of destabilising the province and he had learnt about this from members and structures of the ANC in North West.
“There is a group that came to me on the 21st of March to come and apologise for having done what they have done [during last year’s protests],” he said.
Mahumapelo said last year’s protests had been influenced by politicians within the province working with some of the members of the NEC “and some of the alliance partners”.
However, Mahumapelo said it was not true that he and his administration were to blame for last year’s unrest.
“I’m not saying I’m perfect. There is no premier in this country who has gone to all the municipalities twice in a year, all of them,” he said.
Some of those behind the protests are now serving prison sentences and have confessed that they were “bought”, in some instances with alcohol, and were told to front as members of the community, Mahumapelo said.
“What happened here is that, after Nasrec, there is a group here in the province which constituted itself into a so-called revolutionary council.
“Now these are comrades who did not want to abide by the outcome of democratic processes in the province and they knew that they would not succeed if they go the route of branches to try and gain whatever positions they wanted, so they opted for anarchy and had the support of some of the members of the national executive committee.”