It’s back to the drawing board for the ANC after having suffered humiliating setbacks in three major metros – Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg – in this week’s local government elections.
The election belonged to the DA who are poised to lead the metros.
Last night DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced the DA would end up as the leading party in Tshwane – paving the way for the party to form a coalition government.
“I’m quite glad to announce that here in the City of Tshwane‚ all our current projections [show] we will certainly be the largest party and therefore I want to congratulate the DA for having successfully beaten the ANC here in Tshwane.
“Now we have got to do everything in our power to make sure where we govern‚ we govern well‚” said Maimane yesterday.
The IEC had not made an official announcement at the time of going to press, but the DA also seemed poised to lead in Jo’burg through a coalition.
ANC deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, however, was still confident late yesterday that the ruling party could pull off wins in Gauteng’s two metros.
The ANC also has not given up on leading Nelson Mandela Bay, with provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane telling the Saturday Dispatch that the party was banking on support from parties like the EFF and UDM to help them return to power in the Bay.
He admitted their loss in NMB was of their own doing, and going forward, he said, they would negotiate with the smaller parties in NMB.
“We need all of them [the opposition parties]. We can’t be making any choose-my-khethela [picking and choosing]. We need those five seats of EFF … we need that two of UDM. We need that one of AIC. We need that one of COPE as well as that one of UF, so that we can make 62,” said Mabuyane.
But the ANC will find it tough convincing the other parties as the EFF and UDM have made it clear they have no intention of entering into a coalition with the ANC.
The DA is poised to enter into coalitions with smaller parties in the three metros.
Mabuyane suggested they would need Luthuli House to step back and allow the province to sort out the problems in NMB.
“If there is no involvement of national [executive committee], that can be a workable solution [working with the opposition parties].
“If we can discuss with these political parties, we can work something out. We as black people, we still have a common agenda,” he added.
The party allowed for factionalism to erode its leadership of the metro – where it has had four mayors in the past years. It has also had no fewer than four municipal managers over the same period.
Said Mabuyane: “We spent too much time concerned about a [squabbling] minority, without giving attention to the silent majority.
“We were more concerned about internal organisational issues, instead of serving the people,” said Mabuyane.
But the ANC’s problems seem far from over, with provincial chairman Phumulo Masualle travelling to Port Elizabeth yesterday to convince regional leaders to withdraw a case of alleged “vote-rigging” they opened with the police.
The regional leaders seemed to be in defiance of Luthuli House, who announced the case would be dropped.
Yesterday, while the ANC held a victory party in Oxford Street in East London, NMB’s mayor-elect Trollip’s supporters also gathered to celebrate in Port Elizabeth (see interview with Trollip on page 4).
In BCM, the ANC comfortably retained the council with 58.75% while the DA trailed with 23.39% and the EFF with 7.97%.
But in Nelson Mandela Bay, the DA led with 47.7% and the ANC following with 41.7%, while the EFF received 5.2% of the votes. — additional reporting by Tiso Black Star Group digital