ANC turns to Mbeki for help

2013-09-29 11:45
Former president Thabo Mbeki. (File, AFP)

Former president Thabo Mbeki. (File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - The ANC has turned to former president Thabo Mbeki for help in their bid to hold on to power in Gauteng in next year’s elections.

According to the Sunday Times, the ruling party has approached Mbeki, who has not been active in party politics since 2008, to help retain their stronghold in what is expected to be a fiercely contested battle for the country’s richest province.

The Democratic Alliance is hoping to unseat the ANC and form a coalition government after recent surveys show the ANC might not reach the 50% plus one threshold it needs to form a government in the province.

Gauteng ANC provincial secretary David Makhura said the party had approached Mbeki and had asked him to be part of the campaign to win over the middle-class vote. About 25% of registered voters in Gauteng are classified as middle class.

Makhura also said that Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa would be among the leaders to address campaign meetings aimed at the middle class. This was opposed to using President Jacob Zuma. The party fears that his unpopularity among this sector could harm the party’s chances.

Despite these concerns, political analyst Richard Calland described Zuma in an address to the Cape Town press club as an "electoral asset" to the ANC's campaign in the forthcoming general elections, says a report on bdlive. Calland also compared Zuma and Mbeki, saying that the current president did not read policy documents and briefs, while Mbeki read everything.

DA aims for Gauteng

Mmusi Maimane launched the DA's Gauteng campaign earlier this month, according to a SAPA report. Maimane unveiled the Democratic Alliance's "Believe Bus Tour", which aims to take in diverse areas of the province, with the aim of hearing the concerns of citizens.

"In this campaign I will be setting out my plans to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in Gauteng. But first I want to talk to the people of Gauteng. And I want to listen," Maimane said.

"We will open up Gauteng for business. Not to help rich people get richer. We will do it to help businesses - big and small - to start and grow so that they can create jobs," he said.
Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  thabo mbeki  |  jacob zuma  |  politics

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