Kaya 959 Reporter
ANC Head of Elections, Fikile Mbalula addressed the media at Luthuli House on Thursday, 25 Novmber where he reflected on the party’s performance at the local government elections.
Mbulula spoke about how the ANC is “still by far the most popular political party” in the country, saying that winning many party representative votes was a demonstration that the ANC’s involvement of communities in its candidate selection process has been well received.
Politcal Analyst Sandile Swana joined Point of view with Phemelo Motene to discuss both the EFF and ANC press briefing that happened on Thursday.
In the briefing Mbalula said the reality with coalition talks was that smaller parties needed to gain favor with their constituency, and that them saying that they would not go into coalition with the ANC was meant to garner media coverage and not necessarily based on political considerations.
He also shed light on the coalition talks, saying the ANC entered talks through its coalition negotiators with the IFP, EFF, Patriotic Alliance AIC, ABC and Al Jama and denied claims by the EFF that the ANC was only interested in discussing power sharing.
“We didn’t reach that stage in our discussions. The EFF called off the talks and said they would not talk to the ANC. We had one meeting and were supposed to meet again only to find out they had pulled the plug on our talks,”
Mbalula also indicated why there was no agreement reached with the EFF.
“The EFF wanted us to agree within 12 months to some of their unreasonable demands… it’s either they were not ready in the first place to engage us and just wanted a scapegoat and reasons to say they failed to work with the ANC.
“It won’t help us to keep looking at what didn’t happen… the date of the elections being held on Monday also didn’t help us.”
Media and the Coverage by the SABC
Mbalula also spoke sharply about how they were covered by the national broadcaster, saying the SABC also cost them a lot by promoting that people shouldn’t go out and vote.
“We don’t have a problem with the SABC but we are just pointing out that they contributed to people not going out to vote,”
The mood of the election
Mbalula also expressed how it was a very difficult election due to all the elements at play that affected the election mood. Some of these factors where allegations of corruption against the party, the public perception that every one with an ANC t-shirt was a thief, high unemployment and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We don’t have enough to convince the public that corruption has been dealt with. During the pandemic, billions of rands that were allocated for PPEs went missing. This further painted a bad picture on the party,” said Mbalula.
He also added that the ANC is planning it’s January 8 celebrations in Limpopo Province and will do a thorough introspection on it’s performance and continue the process of renewal.