Johannesburg - The ANC is gunning for a “three-thirds majority” in next year’s national elections, and intends taking control of the Western Cape government from the DA.
This was the surprise announcement by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe when he addressed political journalists and editors during their monthly briefing at the Emoyeni Conference Centre in Joburg on Monday.
Mantashe made the announcement despite predictions by several political commentators that the ANC was set to drop its support base in rural areas in the elections.
“We want to win convincingly. We want to win everywhere. We want a three-thirds majority,” Mantashe said.
He denied that their intention to get more than two-thirds was aimed at changing the constitution of the country.
“We achieved a two-thirds majority in previous elections and we never changed the constitution,” Mantashe said.
On predictions by analysts, Mantashe said the same analysts had said in 2009 that the ANC was going to lose four provinces - the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and North West.
“We won three provinces and lost the Western Cape again to the DA,” Mantashe said.
He also dismissed rumours that the ANC had lost support among coloured communities, saying the ANC would not be governing the Northern Cape if that was the case.
“Coloureds are the majority in the Northern Cape,” he stated.
According to Mantashe, the ANC’s machinery to take over the Western Cape was well oiled and their preparations were at an advanced stage.
He said ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte had been deployed in the Western Cape to make the necessary preparations for the takeover of the province.
“Our studies have shown that two-thirds of the population in the Western Cape lives in the metro.
“We must take control of the metro. We are working there. A lot of work is being done,” Mantashe said.
He said things were looking positive for the ANC in the Western Cape.
“In the past, we used to be in control of one municipality, but now the situation has changed.
“We are in control of at least 11 municipalities and in some instances in coalition with other parties.
“This is an improvement on its own,” Mantashe said.
He welcomed the revolt of some of the chiefs in the Eastern Cape who rejected AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s call to them to join the DA.
“He is supposed to be my king.
“I do not have a king. He is not my king. He is leader of the DA. No king or chief will join the ANC on behalf of his tribe. That ended in 1923 in the ANC. We welcome the revolt by other chiefs against Dalindyebo’s call. That is going to grow every day,” Mantashe said.