Fikile Mbalula
Johannesburg - Newly appointed ANC head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, has warned the party that it is not guaranteed an overwhelming majority at next year’s polls.

Mbalula, whose new role was announced by the ANC last week after he was axed from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet, said it was not a given that the party would get a decisive victory in 2019.

”We must work hard for it,” said the former police minister. He admitted that the 2019 national and provincial elections would be hotly contested.

”We are not chasing a two-thirds majority but an overwhelming victory,” said Mbalula.

The ANC is holding its three-day national elections workshop at the Birchwood Hotel in Ekurhuleni, which Mbalula said was preparing the party for a landslide victory in 2019.

Some of its top six officials and the entire national executive committee (NEC) members are attending the gathering, where the party is plotting its strategy for the elections.

At its special NEC meeting last Sunday, the ANC adopted a roadmap towards the 2019 polls.

Former president Jacob Zuma was all smiles at one of the commissions chaired by ANC national organiser and head of organising and campaigns Senzo Mchunu.

Zuma sat next to Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party has asked its former presidents and deputy president Zuma, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe to be part of the NEC as ex officio members.

Mabe promised that the country would see more of the former heads of state.

Mbeki and Motlanthe were not at the workshop but tendered their apologies, according to Mabe.

Mbalula said the ANC would not focus on its opponents during the campaign trail.

He promised that the ANC’s campaign will not be negative.

”We want to run a positive campaign,” Mbalula said.

He said the ANC’s own research revealed that the party must act decisively against corruption.

In its election campaign manual for the 2016 local government elections, the ANC told its campaigners how to answer voters who believed the governing party was too tolerant of graft by telling them that it had inherited a system where corruption was tolerated and hidden.

The manual also suggested that its election campaigners beg supporters and local business people to donate money for airtime, SMS and data bundles.

Campaigners should also ask for petrol money for taxis transporting voters to polling stations, encourage voters to donate second-hand clothes to the party and organise discos to raise funds for its election campaign.

Meanwhile, the EFF will launch its elections registration campaign at the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg.

Next weekend the Independent Electoral Commission wants all registered voters to visit voting stations to ensure an accurate voters’ roll.

Weekend Argus