POLL | Do you think the ANC realises why it lost in the local government election?

25 November 2021 - 13:28
By Unathi Nkanjeni
ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula claims the real punishment was voters not turning out for the party.
Image: MASI LOSI ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula claims the real punishment was voters not turning out for the party.

ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula's take on the ruling party's performance during the local government elections and the nature of coalition talks has garnered mixed reviews online.

Taking to Twitter this week, Mbalula stressed that the ANC “did not lose” the elections but was “ganged” up on by opposition parties that saw them electing DA candidates in Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Ekurhuleni.

“We didn't lose elections, we lost to coalitions because of our failure to garner [an] outright majority to govern,” said Mbalula.

“We won Joburg without an outright majority, but they decided to give it to the DA. The people voted for the ANC, not the DA. But we accept the coalition arrangements, and it did not favour us,” he added.

In a video directed at ANC members and supporters, the party's deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said they should “have courage” and “be strong”.

In her address, Duarte said the ANC was “betrayed” by people who claimed to vote for the party.

“We may have lost a lot of what we worked very hard for, but we have not lost the battle to transform the lives of our people. Most of the wards in our communities are still under an ANC ward councillor and this is what we must remember,” said Duarte

“Our people did not reject us as the DA, EFF and others would wish to make us believe. What we need to do is take two steps backwards to review what we need to do and make sure no single municipality in this country will undermine the lives of our people.”

Meanwhile, ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa accepted the “disappointing” defeat, saying it was an indication the country’s democracy was fast maturing.

“What is unfolding is how democracy works. These are the footsteps of democracy and we have seen it play out throughout the country. And indeed, as the president of the governing party, it is disappointing for the ANC, but that is how we should accept the clear message of our people,” said Ramaphosa.

He urged elected leaders to prioritise stability in local government.

“As the president of the republic, I would like to see stability in our local government sector, that whatever coalitions are being formed will result in stable local government.

“I will call on those who have emerged victorious to ensure that there is a stable government,” he said.