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ANC electoral performance does not bode well for Ramaphosa, says analysts

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency

Published Nov 4, 2021


The ANC electoral support at Monday's local government elections does not bode well for President Cyril Ramaphosa within the party.

This was the view of some political analysts, who on Thursday said his detractors could use the party’s poor performance to mount a challenge at his leadership.

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The governing party is set to hold a national general council (NGC) to decide on policy and constitutional matters before holding an elective conference next year ahead of the 2024 general elections.

In the wake of the election results to be announced by the Electoral Commission of South Africa, the party is expected to hold an extended national working committee, which includes provincial leaders, on Friday.

Speaking to Independent Media, political analyst Zakhele Ndlovu said Ramaphosa has not been unable to unite the ANC since he took over at Nasrec elective conference.

“The Zuma faction is to try and capitalise on the poor showing in the elections and try to get rid of Ramaphosa,” Ndlovu said.

Ndlovu said although he did not think the electoral losses could be blamed on Ramaphosa, as leader of the organisation, he bore some responsibility.

“It does not bode well for him in terms of his chances in retaining power in the organisation, but I am sure he is going to fight.”

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Another political analyst, Protas Madlala, said the ANC has a principle of taking collective responsibility on internal party matters.

“Those that don’t like him (Ramaphosa) will try to put the blame on him like the DA had done in blaming Mmusi Maimane for its poor electoral performance when they did not take collective responsibility,” Madlala said.

“His detractors will bring him down. I don’t think that will be fair,” he said.

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However, Ndlovu said the electoral results were showing that the future of the ANC was not looking good.

“Not only Ramaphosa, but the ANC as an organisation is in serious trouble. The whole national executive committee needed to do serious introspection,” he said.

Ndlovu noted that the party’s losses were mainly in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, signalling that there were forces out there that tried to sabotage Ramaphosa, especially after the July riots.

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“He is in trouble. There is no doubt about it. The ANC, in KwaZulu-Natal, is likely to use the electoral loss as an excuse to revolt against him in the national general council leading to the national conference.”

But, Madlala said in order to understand the ANC’s electoral losses, there was a need to look at the root causes.

“The ANC has been very stubborn. They buried their heads in the sand. They have been aloof and arrogant,” he said.

“They have been riding on a high horse claiming that they will rule the country until Jesus Christ comes back. They have been taking South Africans for a ride.”

Madlala also noted that the party has been alienated from their constituencies and took them for granted by giving them grants and low-cost houses and assuming they were owed something in return.

“With that attitude, you need people’s movement to regain the confidence of the people.

“People don’t mind if you promise that you will deliver services within the next five years, but if they see you are arrogant and don’t do report back, they give you a middle finger,” he said.

Ndlovu hastened to say that the poor electoral performance by the ANC has not been surprising if the past polling was anything to go by.

“This trend has been going on. It (ANC) has been losing support, both in national and local government for the last three or four elections. We can’t blame it on Ramaphosa,” he said.

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Political Bureau