ANC secretary general Ace Magashule addresses media at the ANC NEC meeting at the St Goerge’s Hotel in Irene, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - The African National Congress will regain the ground it lost in the May 8 general elections, according to ANC secretary general Ace Magashule.

The ANC national executive committee (NEC) convened at the St George's Hotel in Irene in Pretoria on Friday to examine the former liberation movement's performance in the May 8 national and provincial elections.

Magashule said the election performance analysis was the only item on the agenda at the meeting attended by party bigwigs, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President David Mabuza, and former president Jacob Zuma.

"This is a special NEC after the elections, because the last time we met we didn't have enough time to discuss; we were celebrating. Today [Friday], we were getting a quite intense report on elections, our performance, and the different scenarios we are analysing... why have we performed this way, because in almost all provinces we have lost a seat or two. We are looking at ourselves and analysing our strengths and weaknesses," Magashule told journalists in Pretoria.

"What is left for us is to go out and address those issues, challenges, problems, and protests which people embarked upon. Ours is about going back and addressing those issues," he said.

The ANC emerged victorious in the May 8 elections, but with a weakened majority on the national ballot, scoring only 57.51 percent of the vote, down from 62.15 percent in 2014. However, Magashule believed the party would regain the lost ground.

"Many of our people did not vote, younger people, because of the weather, some were actually not motivated to vote, there were many spoiled ballot papers. The ANC will still regain the ground. What do we do moving forward? Are we going to keep the social distance and continue going to people when we go to elections? Can we keep that regular touch with our people and address the genuine issues rather than dismissing the issues they are raising?" said Magashule. 

On Saturday, the ANC would hold a lekgotla at the same venue, "giving the mandate to our ministers, deputy ministers, premiers, and everybody to say this is the line of march". The ANC was emphasising unity within the leadership to avoid "bickerings", Magashule said.

African News Agency/ANA