ANC’s Duma dragged after promising jobs to ANC volunteers

Siboniso Duma, KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/ Independent Newspapers

Siboniso Duma, KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/ Independent Newspapers

Published May 28, 2024


Durban — Siboniso Duma, the ANC chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal, is under fire from his political opponents following his utterances that ANC volunteers would be prioritised for jobs after the election.

Duma, who is eyeing the plum position of premier should the ANC retain the bitterly contested province, was addressing the party’s supporters in the Musa Kubheka region (Newcastle) on Sunday.

“We will make sure that the ANC volunteers are proposed for jobs in government after the elections. You have worked hard. We will propose to you after we win the elections,” he said to loud clapping.

He added: “You have faced the blazing sun campaigning for the ANC when job opportunities open, we will prioritise you.”

These utterances drew immediate criticism of Duma, who is currently serving as the MEC for Economic Development and Environmental Affairs in KZN.

The sharpest criticism came from the DA’s provincial chairperson, Dean Macpherson, who has threatened legal action against Duma.

“These comments are nothing but an abuse of state resources by the ANC that have become so desperate they will say and do anything to retain power.

“Luckily we know voters see through these empty promises … the ANC and Duma have not been able to deliver in the last five years.”

He added: “I believe this would be in contravention of the Electoral Code of Conduct and we will be consulting our lawyers to determine what action should be taken and charges to be laid against Duma.”

This was a desperate, ill-fated attempt by the ANC to cling to power in KZN amid the onslaught by the opposition to unseat the ruling party, he said.

Special voting started on Monday and will continue on Tuesday (today), with the all-important elections set for Wednesday (tomorrow).

The IFP’s Blessed Gwala also lashed out at the ANC, saying that promising government jobs to party supporters was akin to cadre deployment.

“We have qualms because the ANC is going out of power in KZN. A new government of the IFP is preparing to take over,” said Gwala.

The IFP lost the province to its arch-rival in 2004.

In yet another bid to win KZN, the IFP mounted a massive campaign in the province with its provincial chairperson and premier candidate, Thami Ntuli, criss-crossing the province to woo voters.

Ntuli’s fate is now in the hands of the more than 5.7 million people who have registered to vote in KwaZulu-Natal. Nationally, 27.7 million are registered to vote.

Analysts are predicting that the ANC, in power since 1994 nationally, and since 2004 in KZN, would slide below 50+1% in both spheres of government.

If this happens, Duma’s ambitions of leading the province will be dashed. After promising volunteers jobs, Duma reassured them that the ANC would retain the province.

The entrance of the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) is expected to also hamper the ANC’s prospects in the polls.

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