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Polokwane - ANC Women’s League president Angie Motshekga has conceded that the ruling party stands no chance of winning back the Western Cape from the DA.
Motshekga, who also sits on the ANC’s national executive committee, is the first senior party leader to publicly concede defeat 12 days ahead of the May 7 elections.
Ironically, DA leader and Western Cape premier Helen Zille is also not certain about her party retaining the only province it controls.
“It is by no means certain that the DA will win in the Western Cape or Gauteng, but it is possible if every person who stands together for change and together for jobs turns out to vote for the DA on May 7,” Zille was quoted as saying on Thursday at Greenmarket Square in Cape Town.
During her two-day campaign drive in Polokwane, Motshekga told The Star on Thursday that the ANC would hold on to the eight provinces it controls and scorned the DA’s stated ambition to reduce the ANC’s majority in Gauteng to below 50 percent and wrest control of the province away from the ruling party through a coalition government.
In Gauteng, the ANC got 64.04 percent to the DA’s 21.86 percent in the 2009 elections.
But Motshekga was unfazed by claims that the ANC would lose its grip on the country’s richest province.
“There is no indication for me to doubt that we are going to take all the eight provinces,” said Motshekga.
The DA-controlled Western Cape is the only province where the ANC is likely to be confined to the opposition benches again.
The ANC’s performance in the Western Cape dropped from 45.25 percent in 2004 to 31.55 percent in 2009.
“In the Western Cape, we are fighting. I am sure we will increase our percentages. All the (other) eight provinces, people can dream all they want, the ANC will take them all,” said Motshekga.
She defended her Basic Education Department over the continuing textbook shortage debacle. She blamed principals of schools which had not received textbooks, saying they had not reported the shortage.
“Why would voters not vote for us, having delivered six million books and there is a shortage of 138 000, which we can justify?” she said.
Parents should also take responsibility for not returning textbooks.
But Motshekga admitted it was unacceptable for even a single pupil to be without a textbook.
“On the other side, if I am to convince a voter, I will ask, ‘Are you going to punish me having delivered 99 percent of the books and there is just this 1 percent, which I am doing everything in my power to rectify?’” said Motshekga.