The ANC says it will revive Nelson Mandela Bay as a "blue collar city" that needs investment, as it poises itself to claw back the metro through a Workers' Day rally in the city, along with alliance partner Cosatu.
"[Mayor Athol] Trollip didn't win any election here in Nelson Mandela Bay," ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said on Tuesday.
His rise to mayor was due to support from the Economic Freedom Fighters and the United Democratic Movement, she continued.
"So, it is not so correct to declare him an outright winner and to declare the ANC-led alliance a loser. We haven't lost."
She said the party planned to "correct what may have been wrong" and wanted to get industry up and running with local investors.
Speaking ahead of the Congress of SA Trade Unions' Workers' Day rally, planned for the city on May 1, Duarte also expressed concern over an apparent "criminal element" in the North West protests where protesters are calling for the removal of Premier Supra Mahumapelo.
She said legitimate voices had been overtaken by a violent element.
Duarte added that ANC branches met to discuss the issue on Tuesday and that alliance partners would meet on Wednesday.
Next week the party's national working committee was also expected to discuss the issue.
"Our commitment is to solving the problem and to solve it very decisively," she said.