Conceding EFF’s youth appeal, ANC Gauteng premier still upbeat that ANC will win at polls as rivals are ‘in disarray’.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura is all too aware of the fact that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is making inroads among young voters in the wake of the ANC Youth League’s failure to attract members.
Despite this, he remains confident that his party will regain control of the province.
“The EFF will get some votes from young people,” Makhura told City Press during an interview at the provincial legislature on Friday.
“We have a youth league of the ANC that is not in good shape. But we are working with the league in this province to help them so that they become the real voice of the youth. That vacuum is creating problems for us.”
Makhura said the EFF would continue to win the support of young people, but he remained unflustered.
“There is no harm. They will have votes from some of the youth.”
His remarks come on the back of a survey on voters, conducted by the SA Institute of Race Relations between August and September this year, which indicated that the EFF could double its support in next year’s general elections at the expense of the ANC.
But the poll was conducted before the EFF got enmeshed in the VBS saga, with reports that party leaders may have benefited from the financial scandal.
Makhura, who is also the ANC’s Gauteng chairperson, believes that both the EFF and the DA have lost public confidence regarding their respective bids to dislodge the ANC from power in next year’s general elections, adding that the ANC would have to make a profound mistake between now and May to lose the election.
“That mistake has not been made. The ANC in this province is ready to go to war. We have made peace with the fact that we will be back and that they have lost the plot. Tell me which opposition party is organised to dislodge the ANC. They are in disarray, those guys. There is no way that they will erode our support.”
However, Makhura admitted that the ANC had lost voter support because it was seen to be soft on corruption.
“When voters are unhappy, parties must change their ways. Even when there were voices in the ANC against certain corrupt elements, others were dismissing them.”
Makhura cited the DA’s internal battles, including the debacle over former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, as issues that had landed it in trouble.
He took a swipe at Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga, the DA’s candidate for Gauteng premier, saying: “The DA’s campaign is premised on somebody who cannot run a municipality. Someone who cannot run a metro cannot hope to run a province.”
He said the Tshwane metro under Msimanga’s leadership was unable to deliver basic services such as refuse removal, water and electricity.
“I am going to be engaging with Solly. The municipality is not functioning. I will institute legal processes that would be able to say the premier did not just sit.”
However, he added, he would follow all the right channels. “The law does not allow for the arbitrary exercise of power.”
The DA rated Makhura five out of 10 for lack of accountability and failing to deal with corruption.
“We gave him an opportunity in the first year. He made promises he has failed to fulfil,” said the DA’s Gauteng leader, John Moodey, on Saturday.
Makhura delivered his fifth political report on the ANC-led provincial administration in the legislature on Friday.
In the report, Makhura admitted that crime was totally out of control in the province.
“Our communities and CBDs are flooded by criminals.”
He said that the province achieved a 100% unqualified audit performance, while the Western Cape got one qualified audit and a disclaimer.
“In the area of clean governance, Gauteng has made huge strides over the past four years. We have increased the number of clean audits from 56% in 2013/14 to 65% in 2017/18, while achieving 100% unqualified audits in two successive years: 2016/17 and 2017/18.
“Of course, there is no doubt that more work needs to be done to hold officials accountable for irregular expenditure that stems largely from not following supply chain procedures.”
The premier expressed concern that DA-run metros Tshwane and Johannesburg were no longer supporting the township economy revitalisation and reindustrialisation initiatives. “I can only assume that this is for party political reasons, not rational policymaking. I will continue to make a call to the mayors to join the growing movement for township economic development. This is for the good of our economy.”
Makhura reiterated that the e-toll system had no future in the province.
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