- The ANC has called on its members to reflect on how it can turn around its declining electoral performance.
- While the party has acknowledged its own weaknesses leading to the loss of key municipalities, it has also slammed opposition political parties.
- The ANC said its aim should be to turn the public away from newly formed political parties and independent candidates.
The ANC says political parties that formed coalition governments in municipalities where it lost power have less in common than a "crowd of drunkards", "ganging up" to keep the ANC out of power.
The ANC lost key metros in Gauteng following the municipal elections last year. The loss was attributed to various factors, with the party’s key supporters choosing to stay away from the polls.
The 2021 municipal elections were highly contested and saw a higher number of independent candidates participating than in previous polls.
ANC discussion documents released ahead of its policy conference in July, indicate the party bizarrely acknowledging it needs to formulate an approach to dealing with a future proliferated by coalition governments.
But the discussion documents on improving electoral support also labelled opposition parties that have formed coalitions in various municipalities as a "crowd of drunkards".
The ANC said it believed parties in coalitions were not purely focussing on improving the lives of citizens, but also on keeping the ANC out of power, as well as careerism.
The party also admits that the various smaller political parties and independent candidates were often dominated by former ANC members who had lost faith in the ANC.
It said these formations had resulted from the party’s problem with the dominance of self-interests.
"The ANC remains the biggest party in many councils where it is not governing. However, the bitter reality is that it has been kept out of government by the growing phenomenon of small opposition parties ganging up to keep the ANC out of office," it said, adding:
"Their self-realisation in the palaces they now occupy under the pretext of fighting corruption has more to do with their careerism, wheeling, dealing, and patronage.
"We must work hard to unmask this truth to the people. The defence and consolidation of our democratic gains start with organisational integrity and winning the battle of ideas," the ANC said in its discussion document.
Although the party blamed coalition formations, it also pointed to weaknesses in its own governance structures.
Key areas such as poor service delivery, electricity concerns, water supply, and infighting were some of the areas the party identified as having weakened its electoral performance.
It said its members would have to formulate a plan ahead of the 2024 elections on how to address these weaknesses so as to turn around their electoral fortunes.
"This does underline the possibility of the ANC reversing its electoral decline – a possibility that can only become a reality if organisational and societal renewal efforts find practical expression," it said.
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