ANC never runs for cover during challenges - Mantashe

2016-09-27 20:19
Gwede Mantashe (City Press).

Gwede Mantashe (City Press).

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Cape Town - South Africa is stable and the ANC will not take populist decisions on the basis of election outcomes, the ruling party’s secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday.

He sought to boost confidence and reassure investors during a speech at the RMB Morgan Stanley Big Five Investor Conference in Cape Town.

"Any challenges, because there are challenges, as a governing party we are always ready to deal with them, address them and try to find solutions," he told a packed venue.

He referred to the local government elections, so-called Nenegate, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, and the call for an inquiry into banks by Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, from which government has distanced itself.

"The ANC never runs for cover when there are challenges. We are capable of engaging."

He said many people were still "harping on" about Nenegate - President Jacob Zuma’s replacement of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene with David van Rooyen in December last year - instead of moving on.

After the rand collapsed to new lows against the US dollar, ANC leaders asked Zuma to bring back Gordhan "and lucky for us, the president agreed".

"Nobody acknowledges how decisive that intervention was. They ask why they committed that mistake in the first place."

He asked investors to acknowledge and encourage leaders when they made the correct interventions.

Mantashe said they did not contest the outcomes of the August 3 local government elections and no civil war had erupted.

The party "got the shock of its lives" when it read reports that it was at war with the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).

'Weak ANC bad for country'

He said the only issue they had raised with the IEC was that political parties should not be allowed to announce results from the results centre, because there would be chaos.

"We regarded that not as war, but as guarding the legitimacy and integrity of the IEC," he said, adding that sensationalist headlines sold papers, but dented the country’s image.

Referring to the drop in the ANC's support at the polls, Mantashe said a weak ANC was bad for the country and a strong ANC was good. 

"Once it [ANC] is governing in coalitions, it can blame coalition partners for failure to do certain things."

The elections sent a strong message that the loss in support was not about service delivery, but about a "trust deficit" with the voter base, he said. The party should be paying attention to the "own goals" that had led to this deficit.

New party leaders, to be elected in 2017, should deal with this deficit, he said.

Ratings agencies had seen leadership issues as a reason for major instability.

Mantashe said they had told the agencies that the ANC held conferences every five years and could not make "populist policies mid-stream".


Read more on:    rmb  |  anc  |  gwede mantashe  |  cape town  |  investment

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