Pretoria - The emergence of new political parties in South Africa is chipping away at the ANC's support base, spokesperson Zizi Kodwa says.
Speaking to the party’s newsletter ANC Today, he said the party had seen its support throughout the country shrink in a number of recent by-elections. Other variables were also at play, he added.
"The first one is that we must see it as a maturation of democracy. There is a proliferation of political parties. It's no longer one dominant party. Many of these come from the ANC. In other words, they erode the same traditional base," he said.
The ANC had seen its support countrywide fall to below 60% in this week's local government elections. It could not reach the 50% support mark in Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Nelson Mandela Bay, or Mogale City.
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"But the thing is, as the ANC we are excited by the fact that we are still the dominant party," Kodwa said.
"Naturally, we will analyse and we will do introspection after the elections and consider what this means for the ANC. The ANC must live for another 100 years. If we close our eyes in terms of what these results may mean, what they mirror, tomorrow we may just have a problem," he added.
Kodwa disputed claims that the party had become a rural organisation with limited support in urban areas. It had to be understood in the context of a maturing democracy.
"If you see the number of political parties that I spoke about, their dominance is in the urban areas. You'll find a few in the rural areas. In the urban centres you've also got a lot of independents and parties that are issues-based; whether you are talking housing, or about ratepayer associations, so you don’t find them in the rural areas. I think we must appreciate that.
"But I don't think that the ANC's dominance suggests that the ANC has become a ruralitarian party," he said.
Kodwa said the ANC was still dominant in many towns. When the final results are in, people should not conclude that the ANC had become a semi-urban or a rural party, he said.
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