'Painful' Nelson Mandela Bay loss has ANC looking at coalitions to retain power

2016-08-05 20:47
ANC supporters. (News24)

Port Elizabeth - Losing control of Nelson Mandela Bay, the "home of the ANC", was painful and disturbing, regional task team convener Beza Ntshona said on Friday.

This after the party suffered a blow in the local government elections, with the Democratic Alliance claiming more seats than the African National Congress in the council.

Following the confirmation of the results, a subdued Ntshona seemed deeply hurt by the outcome.

"It is painful that for the first time since the dawn of democracy, the ANC has not won an outright majority to win the council," he said.

Nelson Mandela Bay was the home of the ANC, and had also given the party heroes like Vuyisile Mini, Govan Mbeki and numerous others, he said.

The loss also hurt, he said, as the metro was named after struggle hero and former ANC president Nelson Mandela.

11 seats wanted

Ntshona said they would now be going into intense talks with opposition parties to secure majority in council.

The party has 50 seats and needs 11 more.

He said they were confident that all the parties that had seats, including the Economic Freedom Fighters, United Democratic Movement, African Independent Congress, Patriotic Alliance, United Front and Congress of the People, would be open to persuasion.

"We will be engaging any political party. We don't have any party that we are saying we won't talk to," he said.

The party had agreed that a special team would be in charge of the negotiations, as the region was not used to these types of negotiations.

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