ANC Western Cape provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs. (Netwerk24, file)
Western Cape ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs called on the party to unite in the aftermath of its "worst-ever provincial election performance".
In an extensive and frank post on Facebook (which an ANC provincial spokesperson shared with the media), Jacobs wrote: "In the Western Cape, the ANC is eating humble pie following its worst-ever provincial election performance."
"From the rubble of this campaign the Western Cape ANC must pick itself up, dust itself off and demonstrate to voters (and itself) – before municipal elections in 2021 – that it is trustworthy and capable of responding sensibly and reasonably to the myriad issues that have stood between it and power in the Western Cape for the past decade."
He said the party's team in the provincial parliament should occupy their seats with humility and discipline.
"We have two years to prove not only that we have learned important lessons but also that our ideas are better and we have the ability to focus on delivering them. Our list contains an exciting blend of youth and experience. Correctly focused, they will win back respect."
He said some members and supporters of the party "have daggers drawn to cast blame on anyone besides themselves for our chastening election defeat".
"The first requirement of the Western Cape ANC, if it is to regain trust in the province, is to accept the electoral defeat in good grace and take responsibility. Democracy is working well in South Africa, but we in the Western Cape ANC are not doing well enough to convince voters of our integrity."
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"Requirement number two is to condemn factionalism in the Western Cape to the dustbin of history. In the recent past, the Western Cape ANC lost power in the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape province due to factions and dirty tricks. Those factions evolved into other factions. While the candidates who competed for power at the Nasrec Conference have since demonstrated the maturity to work together for the organisation, post-Nasrec efforts to unite competing Western Cape groups were set back during the election period."
He said one of the most valuable lessons from the elections is that the Western Cape is different from other provinces and the party would benefit from a "more regional voice".
"Western Cape voters have since 1994 consistently shown themselves to be relatively conservative in comparison to voters in other provinces. Messaging that may work well in Limpopo, for example, does not necessarily resonate in the Western Cape. We are failing to address our people in terms they can necessarily relate to," he wrote.
He said the Western Cape ANC must condemn the "swart gevaar" and fearmongering tactics used by the DA in its campaign, "but must equally stop flashing the racism card at each and every provocation".
"We must demonstrate our commitment to non-racialism through our actions, through the communities with which we interact, through our ability to envision a society at peace with itself and the world.
"But, first, we must demonstrate our commitment to each other, to our elected leadership to our organisation, and to our country that belongs to all who live in it."
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