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If the ANC becomes a rural party, it will be the end of the ANC — Makwetla

29 July 2022 - 21:06
Thabang Makwetla briefing the media at the ANC policy conference. Photo: Sandile Ndlovu
Thabang Makwetla briefing the media at the ANC policy conference. Photo: Sandile Ndlovu
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

If the ANC becomes a rural party, it will be the end of the ANC.

This is according to party leader Thabang Makwetla who delivered the “Strategy and Tactics and Balance of Forces” paper to the party’s policy conference on Friday. 

Makwetla was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the conference where he outlined the challenges facing the party. 

Losing the urban vote is at the top of the list of the ANC’s problems. The party now governs two metros in the country while the rest fell into opposition hands after the last local government elections. 

Makwetla said the ANC was very concerned. 

“It's an organisation that has roots in urban centres and if it is pushed outside those it will not survive,” he explained.

While the ANC's decline at the polls has been attributed to its failures including corruption, Makwetla said it was not that simple. 

He attributed some of the decline to exploitive business practices that ensure jobs for non-nationals who are not documented for a fraction of what the law allows for remuneration. 

“SA’s communities in very disturbing ways are being pushed to the margins of the economy by the objective market forces in our economy where, in order to optimise profit, business opts to go for cheap labour and that cheap labour in today’s SA is predominantly non-nationals who are not legal in the country, who are able to offer labour and skills at a more competent remuneration rate than SA’s organised labour,” he said.

He emphasised that the phenomenon affected communities “badly” across all provinces including the country's financial centre Gauteng — where the ANC governs no metros. 

“The stance of the movement towards the development that our support in urban centres is weakening — what we are raising is that the high levels of joblessness have affected more of SA’s traditional industrial working class, which are your urban centres, what were formerly known as townships.

“That has pushed a significant part of our country out of the economy and it is a ticking time bomb. And for as long as it continues there is no way the ANC will find it easy to win back the metros,” he added. 

Makwetla added that for the ANC to get back on track, its membership needed to be more diverse, with more members from the middle class which seemed to have abandoned the party, so that it could benefit from a variety of ideas and guidance.

PODCAST | Step-aside issue set to dominate policy conference and influence ANC leadership

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