ANC looks to China for election strategy and tactics

29 July 2018 - 00:00 By CAIPHUS KGOSANA
The ANC is going all out to prepare for the 2019 general elections.
The ANC is going all out to prepare for the 2019 general elections.
Image: Stephanie de Sakutin

The ANC is looking East and bringing in the Chinese to provide lessons on propaganda and discipline ahead of the 2019 general poll, which is considered the governing party’s  most testing election since 1994. 

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told the party’s communicators at a strategy workshop held at Luthuli House two weeks ago that they were bringing officials from the Communist Party of China to help the ANC sharpen its communication machinery.

The ANC sent a massive delegation to the CPC last month, led by Magashule. The governing party will also be sending 300 of its cadres to the CPC’s training academy to learn about party discipline and loyalty. 

“He said we could learn a lot from the Chinese on issues of strategy and propaganda,” said an insider who attended the strategy workshop at Luthuli House. 

ANC spokesman Pule Mabe confirmed that the party was looking to the CPC for assistance but said it was not necessarily taking propaganda lessons from the Chinese.

“From time to time, we do send cadres of the movement to the party school in China. The context [in] ...  which the secretary-general was speaking was about the extension of those relationships. [He] ...  also [made] communicators aware that a party school is going to be constructed in Tanzania, where he has gone as well,” said Mabe.

But elections head Fikile Mbalula said the ANC could learn nothing from the CPC in terms of propaganda and strategy. “Why would we look to China for propaganda when they are an undemocratic state?” Mbalula asked. 

Read the full story in the Sunday Times.