Why ANC Gauteng does not support President Zuma

2016-04-07 19:39

When the ANC went to its last elective conference in 2012, its Gauteng provincial executive endorsed then Deputy President Motlanthe who challenged President Zuma for the Presidency.

Again we are seeing an ANC Gauteng structure that is trying to distance itself from President Zuma and his scandals. It is not that they have different values when compared with other ANC provincial structures that back President Zuma.

Their attempts to distance themselves from a Zuma Presidency that has brought scandal after scandal reflect a nervous ANC in Gauteng.

This is because the ANC is losing votes fast in the province. And they can only blame Zuma for it. Of course there was COPE and the EFF which contribute to their electoral losses but their existence can also be attributed to Zuma.

In 2004 the ANC won Gauteng with 68%, dropped to 64% in 2009 when Zuma became State President. Of course major rallies were held there to mark the rise of Zuma. 2014 saw the ANC electoral fortunes sink by a whopping 10% when they retained control of the province with just 53.59%. Making Gauteng the only ANC governed province where their electoral support sank below 64%. Maimane likes to remind his supporters that this can shrink even further in 2019 making the ANC an opposition party in Gauteng as it is the case in the Western Cape.

And Maimane has a point. If the ANC could lose 10%, what is 4.5%? The ANC Gauteng structure fears that if the Zuma scandals are not dealt with, they could lose control of Johannesburg, and Pretoria.

Again, numbers in the two metros are not looking good for the ANC. The ANC in Gauteng knows that they got 52.28% on the 2014 provincial ballot in Johannesburg. And they received 49.31% in Pretoria.

Those numbers are from the last provincial elections. So they do show that fewer people in the Metros prefer an ANC government which is a trend the opposition hopes will continue this year. And it is likely to continue with Zuma scandals dominating public discourse.

It is up to opposition candidates to inspire enough people to make it happen as the ANC stands to lose Johannesburg and Pretoria this year if the opposition puts up a ballot war. And Gauteng is certainly up for grabs in 2019. And this does not sit well with ANC Gauteng hence attempts to distance themselves from Zuma.

But it will take more than that to restore the image of an ANC that encourages looting of public money for the benefit of a few individuals. It may be too little too  late. No amount of speeches and press statements will rehabilitate that image to avoid losing Johannesburg and Pretoria. And if the metros fall to the control of the opposition, then the Guateng province will follow.  But then rural to urban migration may help the ANC somewhat if those moving from ANC strongholds into Gauteng are keen to vote ANC .

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