The African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday described its municipal poll losses as “a reversal of our democratic gains and reassertion of power by our erstwhile colonisers”.
Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said “coalition governments have been established by opposition parties” which were based on “a common desire to remove the national liberation movement from power at all costs”.
“They are characterised by inconsistent messaging that is devoid of any revolutionary commitment to defeat the real enemy of the people‚ monopoly capital‚” he added.
He said ANC “members and supporters…must not be distracted by this ‘sound and fury signifying nothing’ from opposition parties”.
“We have listened to the voices of the people‚ accepted their judgment and must now deliver on their aspirations.”
This‚ Manstahe said would mean “ANC-led municipalities must be models of a democratic and accountable government where services are delivered in a sustainable manner”’ while “in municipalities we do not govern‚ members of the ANC are called upon to constitute an effective and activist opposition”.
“Ours is not to block or delay service delivery but rather to protect the gains of our revolution and rally against any actions to reverse these‚” he added.
Despite the losses‚ Mantashe said the ANC “is humbled and appreciates the overwhelming support we received from South Africans in these elections”.
“We won the majority of seats nationwide‚ with 54‚2% of the final vote. The ANC is now the government of choice in 161 municipalities out of 213 across the country.”
Manatshe said this weekend would see the national executive committee – which last week resolved to take “collective responsibility” for party’s showing in the election – “begin engagement with the people”.
Manatshe said the party offered “most sincere condolences to the family of Comrade Nonhlanhla ‘Stompie’ Mthembu who passed away during the council sitting of the City of Joburg”.
“In her honour‚ we have no doubt that the ANC‚ across the country and even from opposition benches‚ will work hard to represent the aspirations of the people she dedicated her life to serving‚” he said.