ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Bheki Cele has warned his party could lose the 2019 general elections if they continue to not listen to the people.
Cele, who has thrown his support behind Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the next president, says there was a time the party was warned about losing metros to the Democratic Alliance (DA) and it finds that reality somewhat established.
He was giving an address on the unity of the ANC and its alliance partners in Pretoria on Thursday, in light of much speculation surrounding the fractures within the ruling party.
Cele says the ANC has already lost significant metros and has called on branches to help turn the tide.
“At least now the Union Buildings is under [Tshwane Mayor Solly] Msimanga, there might be time if we don’t wake up, that even the Union Buildings won’t be under the ANC.”
He went as far as to state that the DA is undoing the work the governing party has done by giving unqualified people the power to lead.
“Johannesburg cannot be run by a person who runs salons, Johannesburg is not a salon to run Black Like Me there.”
Cele says sentiments such as the one made by MKMVA leader Kebby Maphatsoe on the resignation of Makhosi Khoza are what decay the party and shouldn’t be encouraged.
The ANC, and the nation for that matter, faces a decisive watershed moment in the form of the ruling party’s national conference at the end of the year. There, the party will decide on who to succeed president Jacob Zuma as the presidential candidate and party leader.
Former President Kgalema Motlanthe expressed earlier this week that perhaps an election loss in 2019 is exactly what certain parts of the ANC need in order to get back in touch with South Africans and their true needs.
While he has not spoken about whom he backs or which party should step in to govern should the ANC lose, Motlanthe has spoken rather candidly on the dismissal of President Jacob Zuma.
In a radio interview with the BBC, Motlanthe said that Zuma’s continued grip on the party is what has brought it into disrepute before the eyes of the ordinary South African.
Depending on the party’s choice, we could see a continuation of what many critics are calling ‘Zuma Politics’.