Who will be ANC’s saviour?
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Cape Town - A daunting task lies ahead for the ANC in the Western Cape, unseating the DA.
As local government elections are gearing closer and closer so does the question of who will be ANC’s saviour. The party is yet to announce its mayoral candidates and by the looks of things, they will wait until the eve of elections.
“Our focus now is the registration of candidates and campaigning,” said ANC head of communications in the province Sifiso Mtsweni. “We will make an announcement in due course about our (mayoral) candidates in the different municipalities.”
In 2009 the Western Cape became the only province not run by the ANC after a Helen Zille-led DA nipped it out of power. In the last elections, only one municipality was under the ANC but thanks to coalition with other parties, this grew to nine. Cape Town municipality is the talk of the town and the party wants to stand a good chance in winning the mayoral race.
Two names have been raised in the ANC corridors that are said to have the ability to take the party back to its glory days, Cameron Dugmore and Khalid Sayed. They are both serving in the provincial legislature and Dugmore was recently appointed to head up the party’s election campaign in the province. The name of Xolani Sotashe who is the current leader in council has not been mentioned by party insiders.
They are both seen as people who can clean the ANC’s image and attract voters from all walks of life. But both admitted that they are not on any list, therefore cannot run for office.
“It is not possible really, I know there has been a social media buzz in certain respects,” explained Sayed.
“I did not avail myself at all for the nomination lists because I was elected in May 2019 to serve in the Western Cape legislature. I will however be assisting in the campaign, in fact, I am part of the provincial management team working closely with regions to give the ANC a fighting chance in various municipalities.”
The failure of ANC to be a trusted alternative has led to formations of new political parties in Cape Town. This will take away votes from them including the DA.
Dugmore said the fact that the ANC is currently running nine municipalities in coalition with other parties shows that they have grown as a party.
“This is growth and a decrease in the DA. I am also convinced that with the candidates that have emerged, the ANC will be equipped to win back municipalities in the upcoming elections. Freedom Front Plus is eating the DA constituency, other parties like the Good Party, Patriotic Alliance and Cape Coloured Congress are also taking DA votes and we remain unaffected.”
He denied that the party has been ineffective as opposition in Cape Town municipality.
“We are open to criticism but facts speak for themselves. We have been holding the DA accountable not only in Cape Town but in the provincial legislature and other municipalities.”
Next week the party will begin its process of interviewing possible candidates for mayoral positions. Dugmore said he cannot say who are the people who are likely to emerge but whoever does will have the daunting task of convincing the electorate that the ANC can be party to take residents forward.