Our view: Tough times ahead for ANC

Given the examples of voter preferences in the 2016 local government elections, the electorate have lost their patience with them and decided either to not go to the polls or to vote for opposition parties like the Economic

Freedom Fighters (EFF), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Democratic Alliance (DA), to mention but a few of those who benefited from that disgruntlement.

Just last week the IFP attained an outright victory in Nquthu, KwaZulu-Natal, which is supposedly a stronghold of the ruling party and where President Jacob Zuma originates from.

Even there support is dwindling, which speaks volumes of how fed up the electorate are with the ruling party.

Something drastic has to be done to combat the declining support. The ruling party will have to do serious introspection if they hope to continue ruling the country. During the last local government election, almost 50 per cent of the electorate abstained from voting.

That was a bitter blow for them, because given their previous victories at both local and national level, that abstaining percentage could have helped them in gaining a landslide victory.

Supporters are not happy about the goings-on in the party. First, there’s been an outcry and calls for the president to resign, which they haven’t acted on despite openness from civic groups and their alliance partners, the SACP and Cosatu.

Lately there’s been an open flouting of their own constitution by announcing their preferred candidates before the party’s policy conference scheduled for the end of June.

The president himself has announced that he prefers his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as the next president – keeping it in the family. Being a president of an organisation is not hereditary in which you are in a position to choose your own successor, while you yourself had been elected by loyal members of the organisation.

One tends to ask many questions, like where is the notion of forming a government by the people for the people?
So far we have had many names being punted for the presidency of the ANC, come December 2017’s conference where Zuma will officially step down as the organisation’s president after serving two terms.

The people on the ground need to be given a voice once more to elect a leader of their choice, but is that possible under the circumstances?

Bongani Hlatshwayo

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