ANC head of organising and former KZN premier Senzo Mchunu, ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula and ANC KZN provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli at a media briefing at Moses Mabhida stadium Picture Bongani Mbatha African News Agency (ANA)

DURBAN - The ANC’s head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, on Wednesday, said the party’s own polling data for next year’s elections tracks closely to what has already been done by independent pollsters.

“Victory is not a given. It is one we must work for. It is not up to us to argue about our weaknesses with others but up to us to work on them. We have polling data and we are watching the data coming out.  We’ve done the polling but it is not far from what others are saying. Some are saying below and over 60 [%]. We are analysing each one,” said Mbalula.

He was addressing media at Durban’s Moses Mabhida stadium on Wednesday about preparations for the party’s manifesto launch, to be held at the stadium in January.

Polling data from market-research company Ipsos, concluded in July, put the ANC at 60% for the 2019 national election.

A prominent think-tank, the Institute for Race Relations (IRR), polled the party at 54% in a September poll.

Referring to the January celebrations, Mbalula said: “It will be a peoples’ manifesto.  We expect all the streets in Durban and KwaZulu-Natal to be painted black, green and gold. 

"The programme of the manifesto will be launched in all the nine provinces after KZN. We have already been doing work through the Thuma Mina Campaign, which has been to Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.  This weekend we will be in Limpopo,” he said.

“Ours has been years of good and bad and we are prepared to accept criticism and we are commented to renewal. The ANC is seized with unity and renewal. We exist at the behest of South Africans. We are dismantling factionalism and bringing in transparency and accountability. We encourage first time voters to take advantage of the [Electoral Commission of SA] IEC registration process in order to bring the ANC a decisive victory in 2019.”

Mbalula would not be drawn into commenting about the Zondo Commission into State Capture, and instead said these questions would be addressed at a press conference on Thursday at Luthuli House.

“We have never run away from the Zondo commission. Our movement led by [state president] Cyril Ramaphosa, has taken a decision to appear before the Zondo commission and we owe it to ourselves,” said Mbalula.

Accompanying Mbalula at the briefing was the party’s head of organising, Senzo Mchunu, a former KZN premier.

Speaking about a R500 000 donation to Ramaphosa’s  2017 ANC election campaign by facilities management company Bosasa, Mchunu said:  “The Bosasa issue is what the president addressed to the National Assembly when the question was posed. 

"We support the statements made by the president made up to now. More clarity is required; we trust the president will deal adequately with that matter.  We shouldn’t deal with this matter as if the bill has been passed,” said Mchunu in reference to the pending political party funding bill currently under scrutiny by parliament.

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African News Agency (ANA)