The African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng says it expected to perform poorly in the local government elections in November.
ANC Gauteng secretary Jacob Khawe said it was aware that voters were angry because of the dismal state of service delivery and load shedding.
The party also admitted its leadership wasn’t up to scratch in the run-up to the local government elections in November.
These acknowledgments emerged from a provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting over the weekend, where the party’s poor performance in the elections was discussed, according to EWN.
Khawe said the PEC members agreed that it needed to improve its leadership.
“The quality of leadership we are providing to our people in our province… and we came to a conclusion that maybe it is not the best and maybe we can do maybe more.”
The ANC’s national support dipped low 50% in the municipal elections – the first time this has happened in a democratic South Africa.
The party also failed to win an outright majority in Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni. The DA, with the support of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and ActionSA, now runs the councils in these metros.
The ANC also lost control of many municipalities within Gauteng.
Former president not shocked by ANC’s poor showing
Speaking shortly after the elections, former president Kgalema Motlanthe said he was not surprised that the ANC’s support dipped below 50% nationally.
Motlanthe, who heads up the ANC’s electoral committee, said the party’s electoral fortunes had declined over the years because South Africans were not satisfied with their living conditions and were tired of being taken for granted by politicians.
“It was written up in the stars actually that this is what was going to happen.
“I wasn’t shocked at all because as we were going into communities, elderly people would say to us ‘look we sit here to listen to you out of sheer respect. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be allowing you to open your mouth’,” Motlanthe said.
Motlanthe said after the 2016 municipal elections, the ANC established a fact-finding task team to look into the reasons the party lost control of some of the country’s major metros.
The former president said the task team found that the ANC’s branches were dysfunctional and something needed to be done urgently to revive them.
Motlanthe, however, said the findings and recommendations of the task team seem to have been ignored.
Additional reporting by Thapelo Lekabe