ANC flag. (Paul Herman, News24, file)
Pretoria - The African National Congress is open to forming coalitions, even with parties it considers its "enemies", the ruling party's chairperson Baleka Mbete said on Friday.
"The ANC is always open to working together with other political role players," Mbete told reporters at the IEC's results operation centre in Tshwane.
She said historically the ANC had always been a party that put national unity ahead of other factors.
"You will remember that it was the ANC, at the right moment in history that led the process toward a government of national unity.
"We even had the ability to work with people who ordinarily would have been regarded as our enemies, but we were able to work together… because it is our policy, it is what we have always stood for, that South Africans must work together for a better future.
"So we are always open," Mbete said.
Based on 82% of the votes that have been captured so far in Gauteng, the ANC had managed to win 45.48% of the votes. The Democratic Alliance had garnered 38.02% of the votes while the Economic Freedom Fighters had managed to pull in 11.03%.
In Johannesburg and Tshwane specifically, the ANC was neck-and-neck with the DA. It was not immediately clear who would clinch either metro.
On Thursday, during an unofficial announcement by the DA that it had won the majority vote in Nelson Mandela Bay, its leader Mmusi Maimane told reporters at the IEC centre that the party was not interested in forming any coalitions with the ruling party.
He said such an action would be against the party's electoral campaign which focused on voting for change from the current ANC governance.
On Friday, EFF leader Julius Malema gave his party's stance on the possibility of an EFF-ANC coalition.
He said although the party had said it would not enter into a coalition with the ANC, it was willing to talk to various leaders if the negotiations put the needs of the people first.
Mbete too, said the ANC would ensure that any coalition agreement entered into would not undermine the interests of its people.
"We will do what we believe is in the best interests of our people based on what we hear from our own ground, our own people."
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