The ANC’s showing in the recently concluded national and provincial elections is proof that South Africans have regained their trust in the ruling party.
These were the sentiments expressed by ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte after the IEC released the consolidated results of Wednesday’s polls.
The ANC immediately held a media briefing as soon as the results were beamed on to the centre’s screens.
The party’s leadership was in good spirits and Duarte, who lead the ANC delegation, said: “From these elections we realised that the confidence of the people in the ANC is returning.”
“There is no doubt that these results show that the people appreciate our efforts so far to reconnect with them and to renew ourselves with their views. We have no doubt that more needs to be done but we are humbled by the fact that our message was received by our people.”
South Africans had given their vote of confidence to the ANC to continue to lead transformation and governing for the next five years, Duarte added.
Gauteng was the most contested province in the elections and Duarte expressed particular pleasure in the fact that the party managed to hold on to the hotly contested province.
“Initial indicators are that we have halted the downward spiral of 2016: 46% of the vote was ours then. Besides the recovery we have to go back to basics in the province,” she said.
The party’s final poll results had indicated that it would retain the province convincingly with a 56% majority.
The party’s treasurer-general Paul Mashatile shared Duarte’s sentiment.
“We are happy with the results ... because we came from a low base. If you look at where we were in 2016 our numbers have actually gone up. Which is a good thing because the voters have once again said they have confidence in the ANC including in Gauteng,” he said
“If you look at 2016 and these current elections we are actually going up. If you look at nationally we in the region of about 10 million in terms of the South Africans who have voted for us so far. That is not a small number. When 10 million South Africans come out and say ‘ANC we have confidence in you’, we as a party can’t dismiss that. This is a very huge boost of confidence.”
Secretary-general of the party, Ace Magashule, said: “South Africans have shown complete confidence in the ANC.”
The party’s head of elections Fikile Mbalula, who arrived late for the briefing, jokingly said that it was due to celebrations.
“We did very well. We came from zero and now we are where we are. We are going up and the message of renewal is getting to our people because they have shown that they trust us,” he said.
Taking a shot at the EFF and its leader Julius Malema, Mbalula added: “Like I said yesterday, we will win ... Sorry Malema.”