Elections 2021: Vote ANC because it is a self-correcting organisation, says Mbalula

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ANC Head of Elections Fikile Mbalula addressing the media of the ANC's readiness to take part in the local government elections. (Photo: Juniour Khumalo/News24)
ANC Head of Elections Fikile Mbalula addressing the media of the ANC's readiness to take part in the local government elections. (Photo: Juniour Khumalo/News24)
Juniour Khumalo
  • The ANC has finally announced its strategy ahead of the upcoming local government elections. 
  • ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula says as the governing party, it has a tough task ahead. 
  • Mbalula adds the ANC's campaign started during its candidate selection process. 

While the ANC has lagged behind other political parties on the campaign trail, it finally announced on Thursday it is ready for the upcoming local government elections. 

And while ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula addressed the media at Luthuli House, scores of ANC supporters protested outside the venue, calling on candidate lists from their regions to be nullified because it did not represent the will of branches. 

During his briefing, Mbalula defended the ANC's sluggish start to the campaign season, saying it had jumped the gun and started campaigning when it sought people's approval for every candidate chosen to represent the party. 

He added:

Our campaign started long ago. We are one of the few parties that don’t just intervene and impose candidates on the people but we seek their approval of our candidates and that is where our campaign started.

Mbalula acknowledged as the ruling party, which faced numerous corruption allegations, the task of convincing people to vote for it would be twice as hard compared to other parties. 

"People who have never been in power have it easy because they only have to look around, find fault and blame the ANC.

"Whatever faults they find easily become their manifesto but we, as the ANC, have to tell the people about some of the sins we have committed during our incumbency, and then detail how we have intervention and how we are going to continue intervening going forward." 

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He added the ANC's manifesto, which will be launched on 27 September, would be "a manifesto of learning from experience". 

On the overwhelming allegations of corruption within the party's ranks that were uncovered by various law enforcement agencies, Mbalula said these same "institutions of governance that fight corruption were revamped and capacitated by the ANC who continues to make them function".

"The ANC has invested monetarily and revamped these institutions which suffered a blow during state capture.

"I see Afrobarometer says corruption has worsened but we must answer the question, what has government done to address corruption?"

Afrobarometer - which is an independent research network that measures public attitudes on economic, political, and social matters - released a report this week saying corruption had worsened under the current administration. 

"Today in addressing the issue of corruption, we have people who are in government who have been affected and steps and actions have been taken.

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"We have got the secretary-general of the ANC [Ace Magashule] who should be addressing this press conference today, but he is not with us because of the step-aside rule. If you are affected, you step aside. That is the ANC we have revamped," said Mbalula. 

He added:

You will see the progress that we are making but we do not claim victory as we have not arrived at our goal. As we continue on the journey, we are seized with these matters and at the same time we are facing new challenges and there are no holy cows in dealing with these particular perceptions.

Mbalula said the ANC was a "self-correcting organisation", and people should continue voting for it for this very reason. 

On the party's short campaign period, he added: "This is going to be the first time that we have to prepare for an election in only six months, at least for the ANC. We have never done this, but we have trust in our volunteers." 

Mbalula admitted the ANC was financially strapped, and would have to be innovative when conducting its campaign. 

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