GAUTENG ANC chairperson David Makhura is adamant that his party would not go into forging coalition governments in desperation.
Makhura was speaking at the Gauteng result operations centre in Alberton after his party performed poorly in a number of municipalities including the three metros of Joburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.
The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) was expected to announce the final results, forcing it to form coalition governments, since indications were that the ANC also failed to secure outright majorities in the metros.
The ANC was involved in a coalition government in Ekurhuleni since 2016 and had a coalition government in Joburg in December 2019, following the collapse of the DA-led coalition and resignation for former Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
As his party failed to achieve an overall 50% electoral support, Makhura was adamant that they would consider coalition partners who shared their ideals of serving the people of the province.
Makhura said: “We are not desperate to be in government at all cost. We do not want to be in government for its own sake, but to pursue a socio-economic transformation agenda that will improve the lives of the working class and the poor communities.
“We will not go into coalition with anybody who just wants to be in power, but we want to work with those who share our vision and commitment to transform our society and our economy so that millions of people can earn decent incomes and enjoy sustainable livelihoods in secure and better communities.
“We are not desperate. We are not going to phone around. We can sit on the opposition benches.”
He said his provincial executive committee would meet on Thursday to discuss possible coalition partners in all municipalities in the province, saying their outcomes would be communicated to the ANC extended national working committee (NWC) for final approval over the weekend.
“We do not want to set up a coalition that would collapse. We are not desperate while looking for partners,” he said.
Makhura said the ANC had set up a team led by Lebogang Maile which was expected to give his party a comprehensive report about their poor performance in the elections.
Makhura, though, accepted that voters had shunned his party but said the majority of those who went to the polls, especially those in trouble-torn Soweto, voted for the ANC in spite of their service delivery problems.
He said the ANC retained most of their traditional wards in Gauteng, including in small municipalities, but conceded losing two wards to the IFP in Joburg.
Earlier, Makhura expressed the same sentiments when he addressed Nehawu’s national congress at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, promising the labour union that his party was going to turn around municipalities following their dismal performance.
“We must interpret this low voter turnout politically. The voters who stayed away from the polls (who are the majority of all registered voters) chose not to vote in order to send a message to all parties.
“To us in the ANC, we must appreciate that the majority of these registered voters chose not to vote for any alternatives to the ANC.
“However, they are also not convinced that as the ANC we have done enough to address what they see as problems of corruption, service delivery failures, and socio-economic problems such as unemployment and deepening levels of poverty,” he said.
Makhura told the union that renewal needed to be fast-tracked to tackle organisational divisions, ethical degeneration and socio-economic problems facing millions of people.
“We must insist that there is no turning back on renewal. We must act with urgency to win back the confidence of those who chose to stay away from the polls instead of choosing to vote for opposition parties or independent candidates.
“We can win back the trust of the people if we act with consistency and urgency on the renewal of both the ANC and government.
“We remain confident that we will still have the majority in most municipalities even though in some we need to work with other like-minded parties or individuals to set up a government,” Makhura said.