Voters who stayed away in the 2016 elections will come back home to the ANC, says Lamola

2019-03-06 18:18
Ronald Lamola says Sam Nzima was like a grandfather to him. (Supplied)

Ronald Lamola says Sam Nzima was like a grandfather to him. (Supplied)

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The ANC believes that its supporters who stayed away during 2016 municipal elections have returned home for the May general elections to lay the foundation for reclaiming Tshwane.

Hitting the election trail with a walkabout at the University of South Africa's (Unisa) Sunnyside Campus in Tshwane on Wednesday, ANC national executive committee member Ronald Lamola asserted that the ruling party had started regaining its lost following.

The 2016 municipal elections saw the ANC lose big metros, namely Tshwane and Johannesburg in Gauteng and Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape. 

News24 previously reported that the ANC in Gauteng blamed the dwindling support at the polls on former president Jacob Zuma's troubles and an arrogant national leadership. In Tshwane, protests broke out after the ANC put forward Thoko Didiza as the mayoral candidate for the capital city.  

READ: The ANC shall return to run Tshwane - David Makhura

The fallout resulted in ANC supporters opting not to go to the polls at all as a protest against the ruling party.

Speaking to News24 on Wednesday, Lamola said that ANC voters who had defected or stayed away were returning to their political home.

"Most of them have checked their names, whether they are registered or not registered, whether they are in the right voting district and all those things," Lamola said.

"They are re-energised, they are saying that they want to reclaim their city in 2021, but they want to do so by laying the foundation now."

DA Tshwane 'limping from one disaster to another'

The general elections, to be held on May 8, will only be contested at the national and provincial level. To reclaim metros through the ballot box, the ANC will have to wait for the next local government elections to be held in two years' time.

Lamola said the ANC was confident about reclaiming the metro when the times comes because residents had seen the failures of the DA government.

"The corruption that is happening in the City of Tshwane, the appointment of incompetent and corruptible officials, the comedic errors which hare happening from the DA government. They are limping from one disaster to the other.

"It's like they have a school of incompetence where they just go and look for mediocrity. So it is obvious to the population of Tshwane that the DA has no clue how to run any government."

READ MORE: Tshwane must be won through the ballot – ANC Gauteng secretary

Looking forward to the general elections, Lamola added that the ANC had shown maturity and a willingness to cleanse itself. He said the party had acknowledged its mistakes.

"We know we have committed mistakes but we are saying we have learned from them in the past 25 years and from that experience we believe we can build a very big and strong nation."

Elections, the youth and Bosasa

The ANC also believes that it will get the majority of the youth vote in the country in the upcoming elections.

From speaking to students on the ground, Lamola said that it was evident that the ANC continued to make inroads in the youth vote, despite being at the centre of corruption scandals laid bare at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

"Obviously the youth [find it] abhorrent from the discussions we have had with some of them. They hate corruption.

"From the discussions that we've had with them, obviously they raised these issues, the Bosasa issues, and they are saying that they are happy that the ANC government, through the commission of inquiry, is attending to this thing and they can see things are coming to the fore in the [commission].

ALSO READ: ANC accepted Bosasa millions for years

"They are also happy that the corruption at Bosasa is being attended to by law enforcement agencies, the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) and the Hawks. They are also happy that there is action to strengthen the NPA and big institutions in the country on crime in the criminal justice cluster."

Lamola added that students wanted to build a new society.

"A new society based on meritocracy. They want to build a new society based on their capabilities and that's why they are coming to school.

"It's an energised youth, it's a young creative generation, it's a generation that is very optimistic about the future."

He said that the youth he engaged with understood that the ANC had to follow due process in dealing with its members implicated in wrongdoing at the state capture commission.

"Obviously, the youth understands that for any process there must be due process, they know that there must be rule of law in this country, there is a constitutional democracy. People need to be given a fair hearing, there must be due process."

Read more on:    tshwane  |  unisa  |  sunnyside campus  |  pretoria  |  elections  |  general elections  |  anc  |  politics  |  campaign  |  ronald lamola
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