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Johannesburg - E-tolls and President Jacob Zuma were not the reason for the ANC's reduced support in Gauteng in the elections, the ANC Youth League said on Thursday.
“We... reject faceless sources in the ANC PEC (provincial executive committee) who continue to claim that our dismal performance should be attributed to the e-tolls in Gauteng in the main and on the image of the president in general,” ANCYL Tshwane regional task team convener Stene Maduna said in a speech prepared for delivery.
The governing party garnered 53.59 percent of votes in the province (64.04 percent in 2009) and 49.31 percent in Tshwane (59.95 percent in 2009).
The ANCYL described the party's election results in the province as “dismal” and “mediocre”.
“The ANCYL in Tshwane is utterly shocked, embarrassed and deeply ashamed to be associated with the mediocre results drawn by the ANC in the City of Tshwane,” said Maduna.
He maintained that Zuma and the e-tolls did not contribute to the reduced support in the area and referred to other issues as contributing factors.
He blamed “factionalism, deep-seated divisions, gate keeping of membership, defiance of the ANC NEC 1/8national executive committee 3/8 and unconstitutional suspensions of many of our members in the region”.
Poor electioneering in Tshwane and Gauteng were also to blame.
If Zuma or the R246 million spent on security upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal was an issue among voters, the party would not have won by such a large percentage in the region or the province.
The ANC retained control of that province with 64.52 percent of the vote.
“If people of Nkandla and KwaZulu-Natal vote for the ANC in their numbers, this has to be construed to mean that they do not view the buildings on the homestead as a valid election concern.”
He said Nkandla was not a concern to Gauteng residents, as the province had an excellent service delivery record and was improving delivery of basic services.
The controversial e-toll system was also not the reason for the reduced support, as most people in the province used public transport and were exempt from paying e-toll fees, Maduna said.
“As the ANCYL in Tshwane we are convinced that the real reasons for the dismal performance of the ANC in these elections has more to do with internal party contradictions than with any of the shallow excuses thrown around to confuse and mislead.”
Gauteng ANC spokesman Nkenke Kekana declined to comment.