JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says support for the ruling party has been on an accelerated decline, emphasising the need for unity during this difficult time.
Mantashe discussed details of his diagnostic organisational report at a briefing on Friday night after presenting it to delegates at day one of the ANC’s policy conference.
Mantashe’s report shows the ANC reached a plateau in 2004.
According to his report, there’s been a decline in support between the general elections in 2014 and local government elections in 2016.
Some of these issues relate to growing mistrust, the recent Cabinet reshuffle and spy tapes judgement, among other things.
Mantashe says these are challenges that need to be discussed.
“We hope this will help to move in commissions. We don’t want to pre-empt commissions as commissions need to bring solutions to these challenges. At the end of the commissions, we need to consolidate reports and finalise what needs to be done.”
Mantashe adds unity will be a focal point during the conference.
“We shouldn’t tear ourselves apart because we’re going through a difficult period. The worst thing we can do during a difficult period is tear each other apart, smash each other or destroy each other.”
Mantashe also pointed out that regime change is a reality facing the government of South Africa and all other governments in developing countries.
ZUMA ON ANC SUPPORT
During his address at day one of the ANC’s policy conference, President Jacob Zuma also reflected on the party's dismal performance at last year's polls.
He believes the party needs to fix its mistakes.
Delegates are expected to continue discussions on the state of the party on Saturday.
Zuma says he is concerned that the ANC shed about 8% of its electoral support at last year's polls.
“Our movements suffered a serious setback on 3 August 2016.”
The president says the discussion about the state of the party must focus on fixing this.
“Our discussions here will focus on the elections for lessons to be drawn and solutions to be found.”
He mentioned the party's loss of key metros, as he urged delegates to discuss how the party can regain lost ground.
(Edited by Shimoney Regter)