ANC lost coloured Cosatu vote
Johannesburg - The ANC is blaming coloured Cosatu members for being responsible for its loss to the DA in the Western Cape in the April election, it emerged on Monday.
Gwede Mantashe, Secretary-General of the ANC, told the media at Luthuli House: "The majority of Cosatu members (in the Western Cape) are still voting DA and added to the party's take-over of power".
Great effort must now be made to strengthen support for the ANC, particularly in coloured working class areas by, among other things, establishing new branches, he said. The absence of ANC branches in these areas "makes it so much more difficult to penetrate these areas".
Mantashe, in his feedback from the weekend's meeting of the ANC's national executive council (NEC), made strong emphasis on the "serious black/coloured division in the province". It requires "urgent organisational attention", he said.
The NEC's decision to disband its Western Cape management - under the leadership of Mcebisi Skwatsha - comes partly from it being "deeply divided and factionalised".
NEC members who were sent to the province are allegedly adding to the problem, by taking sides with certain factions.
This situation results in ANC structures in the province being generally poor, and the party's readiness for a local elections in 2011 being "dubious".
Mantashe said the task force which will have to rebuild the party before the provincial congress, which was brought forward and will take place within nine months, must be composed in such a manner that specifically rural districts and coloured communities are represented.
He explained that an analysis of voting patterns indicated that the ANC had held its support in black townships and even grew, but in coloured areas the support dropped by at least half.
"The majority of ANC voters are working class, which means it was mainly Cosatu's ANC members who voted for the DA," he said. "We've taken the matter up with Cosatu."
Tony Ehrenreich, who was recently re-elected as Cosatu's provincial secretary, said it is indeed true that coloured working class voters voted the DA into power, "but one can't just conclude that those were Cosatu members".