Conference 'must face up to' ANC's poll failure

04 December 2017 - 06:38 By QAANITAH HUNTER
Gwede Mantashe. File photo.
Gwede Mantashe. File photo.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

The ANC would have to discuss the reality that its electoral support might decline to below 50% in the 2019 general elections at its national elective conference.

The concession was made in ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe's draft organisational report for the conference.

"The disturbing character of the decline is that in the successive elections we continued to decline systematically," he noted in the draft report.

An analysis by the party's top brass showed the ANC had the highest election results in 2009 and the worst it received was at last year's local government elections, when the party secured 54%.

"This is the lowest we can ever be; otherwise the threat of losing power is real," Mantashe said.

The loss of electoral support has pushed some ANC leaders to call for unity amid a bruising factional leadership fight.

Mantashe said in the report that the party's loss of major urban centres was problematic because that was where the population was concentrated.

"We have an obligation to turn this graph up otherwise going under 50% will soon be reality. Our movement cannot take this for granted," said the report.

Mantashe said divisions in the ANC had caused a distraction to election campaigns.

"Our leaders at all levels must be made to appreciate that factional selection of candidates is very costly to the ANC. And even more in the long term," he said.

ANC delegates at the conference would have to deliberate on why "ANC cadres are prepared to lose municipalities for personal interests or factional reasons".

ANC Mpumalanga strongman David Mabuza warned on Friday against the ANC following the fate of other liberation parties in Africa that were eventually voted out of power.

The message was shared by ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, who told delegates the conference was an important decider in how the party would fare in elections.