ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte with secretary general Ace Magashule, Treasurer General Paul Mashatile, spokesperson Pule Mabe and its communications subcommittee chairperson Nkenke Kekana. (ANC via Twitter)
With 100% of the vote counting done, the ANC has started to celebrate and thank those who put their faith in the party.
It gained 57.51% of the national vote, while it managed to score 50.19% in Gauteng.
The ANC, even with a reduced majority has managed to retain control of all its eight provinces but still failed to make significant inroads in the Western Cape.
"Initial results suggest the party has halted a decline from 2016," ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte told journalists.
She was joined by ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, Treasurer General Paul Mashatile, head of elections Fikile Mbalula, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe and its communications subcommittee chairperson Nkenke Kekana.
The ANC defended the low margins, arguing that this was an improved performance following the outcomes of the 2016 local government elections, where it lost control of several metros, including the top 3 in Gauteng. It only managed to hold on to Ekurhuleni through a coalition and garnered a national average of 54%.
While the leaders did not answer all the questions from the media, they indicated that they would be able to give more detailed responses following a full break down of the 2019 national election results.
"We are happy with the results, looking at the 2016 performance and surveys it shows that voters are happy," said Mashatile.
Mbalula praised the party for the work done to win over South Africans.
"This was a wall to wall campaign. We came form zero and to get to where we are… you know 10 million is not child’s play," said Mbalula.
He admitted that there was still a lot of work to be done, saying their recovery plan was on track, emphasizing the role played by party president Cyril Ramaphosa, whom he referred to as a "game changer" in the campaign.
"The message of renewal is getting to our people, they are saying that we trust you but its not enough," he said.
"We commit to a sustained programme of renewal and to be decisive to root out lawlessness, greed, corruption and selfishness," said Duarte.
She added that the ANC would embark on an extensive process to study the election results.
She also said while the ANC had no issues with some of the glitches reported by some during the elections it had agreed to an audit, that was to be performed by the statistician general.
Duarte also said its was the right of the smaller party to raise objections and they deserved answers.
The independent electoral commission is expected to formally announce the results on Saturday evening.
The ANC will hold a media briefing with Ramaphosa on Monday.
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