Cape Town - Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman has put forward an ambitious plan to win back the province from the DA next year, but he has admitted it won’t be easy.
“It will be a very difficult exercise, but very possible,” Fransman told the Cape Argus this week.
He said the party was “ready to take on the DA” and “preparing to govern in 2014”.
Over the next few months, the party will up its membership in the province by at least 12 000, Fransman said.
“We will be opening up the ANC in the province. We have 38 000 members in the Western Cape currently. We want to up that to at least 50 000 this year,” he said.
“No one in leadership positions in the ANC in this province must feel comfortable. All MPs, members of the legislature and councillors will have to show how they are recruiting new members.”
ANC membership in the Western Cape fell from 43 000 in 2011 to 38 000 before the Mangaung conference in December.
Fransman said the ANC’s plan to reclaim the Western Cape was explained in a party document titled “The Peoples Path to Power”.
He said the strategy was based on five key pillars:
- Organisational renewal.
- Re-connecting with communities and civil society.
- Offering alternative governance.
- Ensuring economic transformation.
- Strengthening local governance.
Fransman said the party in the Western Cape was “more united than ever” post Mangaung.
“Yes, there were divisions before Mangaung about leadership preferences. But that’s behind us and we’re working as a united front to win back this province in 2014,” he said.
Fransman said he was convinced that the DA would lose next year’s election “purely on the way they are governing” the Western Cape.
“The DA is engaged in politics of deception,” he said.
“They have a brilliant PR machine and are governing this province using spin-doctor tactics.
“With the ‘Save our Schools’ campaign we’ve demystified their politics of deception and have exposed the DA and the Education MEC (Donald Grant) for who and what they actually are.
“They don’t care about the poorest of the poor, which make up the biggest voting block in this province.
“We’ve worked with those communities. The school campaign has been the most visible example of our commitment to the poor.”
Fransman said economic transformation would be one of the ANC’s key focus areas “when we take over”.
“The DA is in for a big surprise,” he said. “We have already started a massive drive to register our people on the Cape flats. The 2011 census shows that nine out of 10 white people in the Western Cape are registered to vote, while only three out of 10 black people are registered.
“We’re going back to the basics. A big registration drive is under way.”
Fransman said Premier Helen Zille “shot herself in the foot” by referring to schoolchildren from the Eastern Cape as “education refugees”.
“That statement will come back to haunt her at the ballot box. The DA has failed the poor… and we will make sure the electorate is made aware of this over the next year.”
About National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel’s role in the party’s bid to reclaim the province, Fransman said: “Trevor is an important source for the ANC in making this a reality. But so are all the national leaders deployed to the Western Cape. All the leaders will have a role to play.”
Fransman said it was too early to tell who ANC president Jacob Zuma would nominate as the party's premier candidate for the province.