ANC Leaders Pushed into Urgent Coalition Strategy

ANC Leaders Pushed into Urgent Coalition Strategy (News Central TV)

Following a dismal showing at the polls, the African National Congress (ANC)’s top leaders will be meeting on Friday to look back at the 2021 local government elections and finalise on a coalition strategy.

The election results showed that the African National Congress (ANC) still controlled 213 municipalities, having achieved a majority in 161 of them but it saw a decline in majority support, to below 50%. At the last municipal elections in 2016, the ANC got 54%, which at the time was its lowest vote share since apartheid. Many electorates voted for other parties citing perceptions of perennial corruption scandals and poor basic services in areas that have traditionally been ANC strongholds.

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UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa should give DA federal chair Helen Zille “a call and meet up for coffee” to work on modalities for a coalition between the parties.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa

Holomisa, who was speaking at the Electoral Commission’s (IEC’s) national results centre in Tshwane on Thursday, said the ANC and DA should stop politicising local governance and agree on coalitions.

Despite the ANC’s falling popularity, rival parties have not yet been able to make serious inroads. The governing party has been silent on its plans and potential partners but it said that they had been engaging some parties informally.

ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula

The party’s head of elections, Fikile Mbalula: “The extended national working committee of the ANC will meet and design and approve a perspective of engagement and then from there that will be our mandate to talk to other political parties. But from a point of what the result has given us, the results are very clear. The results are saying to us go and work with others.”

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Mbalula also conceded that the party’s own weaknesses had cost it some of its strongholds.

“We need to build a strong social compact between ourselves and the people, we need to narrow the gap in terms of the trust deficit. It is there. People told us in Soweto ‘we will vote but we know on Wednesday, you will disappear’. We became visitors among our people instead of becoming residents,” Mbalula said.

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