ANC “concerned” about dwindling influence

By Drum Digital
29 September 2014

ANC head of policy Jeff Radebe said his party was concerned about the “steep decline” in its party’s electoral fortunes.

Radebe told a media briefing in Parktown, near Johannesburg, on Monday that the party’s leadership was looking into the matter even though the ANC remains dominant in South African politics.

“(This) is worrying us. That’s why we are analysing the trend. Our focus on local government is also influenced by that. If you look at May (General) elections, especially in the big metros, we’ve seen a steep decline in the fortunes of the ANC. So these initiatives in local government are directed at ensuring that we reverse the trend,” he said in response to a question about the ANC’s declining political hegemony.

The ANC got over 62% of the vote at the polls in May this year, which is a 3% decline from what it got at the 2009 elections.

In the previous polls it had enjoyed a two-thirds majority.

Radebe cited the decision by former ANC Youth League leaders to form a rival political party and internal wrangling within Cosatu as symptomatic of the problems the ANC was facing, saying the party’s “ideological leadership is not at its highest peak”.

“We are trying to solve those problems so that we can be able to bounce back so that we can galvanise the South African society around one issue—the National Development Plan,” he said.

The ANC is starting preparations for its mid-term national general council in mid-2015, where it is expected to review the progress it has made in implementing its policies in government.

Its leader, President Jacob Zuma, continues to face mounting problems as he starts his second term in office. This weekend the party has had to fend-off fresh allegations that he had been implicated in the multi-billion rand arms deal.

Radebe denied that the issue of leadership was up for discussion.

Asked about his party’s position on corruption, Radebe said:  “Wherever corruption rears its head, irrespective of who is involved, justice must take its course.”

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