ANC ponders full-time election committee

2011-05-21 17:03

The ANC wants a permanent election committee, saying it does not make sense to run election campaigns on an ad hoc basis.

At the moment the party only has two election specialists, Jessie Duarte and Ngoako Ramatlhodi, on a full-time basis. Their fellow team members are appointed during elections.

Ramatlhodi said this had resulted in the party battling to fight by-elections adequately.

He said when the ANC national executive committee met later this month, he would recommend that a committee be appointed permanently.

“We might want to consider putting together a permanent electoral commission. Elections are so important it doesn’t make sense to run such an important function on an ad hoc basis,” he said.

The party is also going back to the Western Cape to rebuild its support structures.

The DA performed well in that province, winning municipalities such as Cape Town and Mossel Bay municipality with outright majorities, while the ANC’s support declined.

Duarte said one of the lessons they had learnt was that the party had not been able to ward off attacks from the DA in the Western Cape because it lacked structures there.

“We were aware of the perceptions of the ANC not caring about coloured people, which is not true because we did deliver services from a national level to all communities,” Duarte said.

“Perhaps our most urgent action in the Western Cape is to go and build back our ground bases in ­every single community and to have a cross-cutting relationship with every NGO.”

Ramatlhodi said the “so-called losses” in the Cape reflected the absence of ANC voters at the polling stations rather than desertion of the ANC.

He said the party had also not engaged in “aerial warfare” such as posters and T-shirts that are good “for a ­psychological battle”, but its ground strategy worked.

“Perhaps where we can look for improvement is how we select candidates with the assistance of ­communities. That partly accounts for the absence of voters.”

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