Western Cape ANC: Big divide between us and voters

2015-09-16 11:36
Faiez Jacobs (Facebook)

Faiez Jacobs (Facebook)

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Cape Town – There has been a "big disconnect" between the ANC and its Western Cape constituencies, its provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs has admitted.

“Sometimes we take our constituency for granted, sometimes we are inward looking and sometimes we are also self-serving,” he told News24 in a sit-down interview in Cape Town.

He said their elected representatives had, at times, not been focused on the primary objective of serving people.

Instead, there had been a focus on “internal squabbles”.

But the 42-year-old said there was a drive to unite the party so it could be more responsive to what people wanted and expected from the ANC.

"It’s a brand that everybody loves, but sometimes we need to improve our performance and we need to field the best players in those positions," he said, comparing the party to the national soccer team Bafana Bafana.

Jacobs narrowly beat incumbent Songezo Mjongile to the post at the party’s elective conference in June.

'You need to develop a thick skin'

The born-and-bred Capetonian brought with him a Master’s degree in management, experience in local government, and a history of student activism during the height of apartheid.

He felt many councillors were doing good work on the ground.

"A big problem with the ANC is that we do so much great stuff, but we don’t communicate properly or we don’t take time to tell our story."

A performance management process was in place to identify those not doing their job, he said.

"It's basically an indicator that our councillors are present, available and working hard. We are doing that monthly."

The soft-spoken Jacobs described himself as a family man and not someone with a big ego.

He was humbled by being chosen and not put off by the hard work ahead of local government elections next year.

"My approach is that I will make mistakes. I will pick myself up and we will move on and learn from that.

"Obviously in this game you need to develop a thick skin and people are going to target and poke you."

Read more on:    anc  |  cape town  |  politics

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