Cape Town - The ANC’s Western Cape head of elections, Ebrahim Rasool, says despite the party putting up a “fairly credible performance” in the province, there certainly is a sense of “deep disappointment” in the results.
“This was the best campaign in a decade. We had so much confidence going into the elections. The momentum was on an upward curve because of Ramaphoria,” said Rasool.
He added that for the ANC, this was the first time in a long time that the party was not on the defensive like it had been for the last 10 years.
“We didn’t have to explain about Nkandla and state capture and all those kinds of things. There was a buoyant feeling that we would perform better. When the numbers at the end of the day did not reflect that, there was a great sense of deflation,” said Rasool.
He added that both the ANC and the DA noticed a national pattern in votes but that the pattern did not remove the disappointment. “It gave us some rationale as to what the voters were trying to tell us,” he said.
In 2014, the party managed to get 32% of the votes in the Western Cape compared to only managing 28% this year. He said the most disturbing figure that the recent elections revealed was the lowest national turn-out figure at 65%. “We have always had 70%, even 80% at times. There was a massive stayaway factor.
"What the electorate told us in the Western Cape and nationally is, before we put our trust in the ANC, we are going to put our trust in Ramaphosa,” he said.
According to Rasool it would appear voters were more cautious and they want to see a renewal.
“If the ANC in the Western Cape can align itself with Ramaphosa’s bold renewal talk then voters will give us a chance again, so there is hope.” .
The party has made much of the “Cyril effect” saying voters had more faith in the man, than the party.
He admitted the infighting in the party might have harmed the ANC’s provincial campaign but blamed it on enthusiastic leaders vying for top positions within the provincial structure.