- The ANC has vowed to intensify its marches against DA-led municipalities.
- The party said it wanted to demonstrate the DA's claims that "where the DA governs, they govern better" were false.
- ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula said the party would march in Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality next.
The ANC says its march against the DA-led coalition in Tshwane is the first of many protests against DA-led municipalities nationwide.
Over a thousand ANC supporters gathered at the Marabastad bus depot and made their way to the municipal building in the Tshwane CBD during the party's "People's march, buya Tshwane" (come back Tshwane) on Friday.
Addressing the crowd, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula said his party also had its sights on the DA-led Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and all other municipalities led by the DA or a DA-led coalition.
“It is good that they have been in power in Tshwane and all these other municipalities so that you [South Africans] can see through their façade that where they govern, they govern better. That is not true, particularly in poor black communities,” said Mbalula.
He said it was because the ANC had dropped the ball when it came to service delivery that led to the party losing power in Tshwane, Johannesburg, and other municipalities.
READ| The ANC wants EFF leaders held personally responsible for damage, and deaths, during its 'shutdown'
“The days where people [within the ANC] do as they wish are over. We will no longer stand back and be blamed by the DA for its failing, but we will also not support our comrades when they are being accused of wrongdoing,” said Mbalula.
He reiterated that part of his party’s strategy to win over voters heading into next year’s elections would be by poking holes into the DA’s claim that it governs better than the ANC.
“They have had seven years to prove this in Tshwane after taking over from the ANC; instead the situation is worse. The city is now broke, while Johannesburg is far worse than it was. The size of the potholes is shocking, and yet people still write ANC next to these potholes. We refuse to be scapegoated,” said Mbalula.
He was also quick to add that the ANC march, unlike Monday's shutdown planned by the EFF, did not infringe on anyone’s rights and was peaceful.
The numbers of ANC supporters keeps growing with a number of buses bringing in more people. The party’s spokesperson Mahlangi Bhengu insists that unlike the EFF’s planned shutdown, this is a “peaceful march by concerned Tshwane residents.” #BuyaTshwane @News24 @TeamNews24 pic.twitter.com/Oj51lncw8M— Juniour Khumalo (@JKwritingz) March 17, 2023
“Nobody closed their shops because the ANC was marching. Instead, our supporters bought things from the vendors,” said Mbalula.
Reading out the memorandum, ANC first deputy secretary Nomvula Mokonyane said her party was tired of having to deal with the "lethargic and tone-deaf DA and the ANC wanted the Hawks to investigate and recover monies lost under the DA's maladministration".
ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri also weighed in, saying ANC members were prepared to march to the Tshwane parliament to voice their dissatisfaction with the state of governance under the DA-led coalition.
She accused the DA-led coalition of neglecting service delivery, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
Bhengu-Motsiri said the DA’s leadership had been characterised by the segregated treatment of citizens based on race and class.
“So, the ANC is not shy to admit its weaknesses and we have been candid about that. In fact, we are the only party that says we know we haven’t done so well in this area but what does the opposition say?” she asked.
The ANC's march comes just days before the EFF embarks on its shutdown and the ANC took the opportunity to discourage South Africans from attending the shutdown.
Mbalula was adamant that “shutdowns are not the answer to any problem that the country is facing”.
"The EFF can’t claim to be a party of the poor and yet also threaten the job security of the same demographic,” he said.
The DA has rubbished most of the claims made by the ANC saying this was cheap politicking leading up to the national elections next year.