Strategically it will be wise for the ANC to use this as a learning curve, take stock of where it has gone wrong and put measures in place to correct those wrongs, writes LEBO MASHISHI
The 2016 local government elections results still remain a nightmare for the ANC, after losing key metros, more especially now with the looming possibility of losing Gauteng in the 2019 elections. This is perhaps the ANC’s biggest blow since the dawn of our democracy, the ANC is losing in its backyard, the black voters are becoming highly contested with the coming of age of the EFF.
Strategically it will be wise for the ANC to use this as a learning curve, take stock of where it has gone wrong and put measures in place to correct those wrongs. Comforting for the ANC should be the fact that the masses have not voted it out but have kept their votes, either way, that is harmful.
Just after losing metros in the 2016 elections one thought the ANC will regroup and mark a clearer way forward, however, that did not happen, the ANC carried on we the usual business of internal factional battles leading to the Nasrec conference in December 2017, this did not in any way strengthen the ANC.
In the midst of all these, the coalition relations between the DA and its partners are falling apart and the ANC gets the temptations of wanting the piece of the cake, a trap set out perfectly by the EFF who hold all the aces in these coalitions relations.
The EFF holds all the cards and have proven that they could vote a mayor out of office whenever they wish to do so, they are therefore a dangerous coalition partner, they do not have the outright majority all they can do is play to the desperateness of the DA and the ANC, the ANC is desperate to get back the power and the DA is desperate to retain the power, the EFF plays the referee.
The ANC will be better off, focusing on building a strong organization, winning back the confidence of the masses than wanting to enter any coalition with the EFF; the relations with the EFF will never last, the ANC has trouble keeping its alliance partners happy how will it satisfy the demands of the enemy in coalition?
Furthermore, the ANC has not done enough to gain back the confidence of the people, the desperate desires displayed in Tshwane wanting to oust the DA mayor, it is only playing in the hands of the enemy. The party continues to flirt with fire, what is happening to Solly Msimanga could happen to any ANC mayor.
Therefore, the best remedy for the ANC here is to win that municipality with an outright majority, the ANC must not be tempted to get back the blue lights without sweating.
Mashishi is an author, an activist and independent filmmaker