The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is concerned about the implications of losing its outright majority in the eThekwini Municipality and how this will affect its national election run in 2024.
The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) in KZN announced its preliminary election results on Thursday which showed the party would need to form a coalition government to govern the only metro in the province.
The ANC was only able to get 42.02% of the votes in the province.
“The immediate implication that is of concern to us is that it creates an impression and sets the scene towards 2024 that if it doesn’t attend to many of the challenges that have been identified, we will not be able to come back as a governing party in the province of KZN,” said ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli.
He added the immediate implication of having less support in a big area like eThekwini was that it forced the ANC to reflect on its future as a governing party in KZN.
“We will be going to national elections in 2024 and I know, and I am sure that many of us in the ANC leadership will be very convinced that by the time we get to 2024, the situation that we have gone through during this period would have been resolved.”
The party has blamed low voter turnout by disgruntled ANC supporters for the poor results.
“The honest reflection is the ANC is hurting and disappointed, and we are saying so because the ANC supporters in our stronghold did not turn out to vote. They rather decided not to vote at all,” said provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala.
He added the causal factors for this was unemployment, poverty and inequality.
“The failure of the ANC to tender with these challenges and ensure delivery and improvement of the living conditions, are fundamental issues at an objective level,” said Zikalala.
He added problems within the party included “issues of division, issues of weak structures and issues of corruption” that took centre stage as a cause of concern that led to dissatisfaction.
Zikalala said the party would be meeting with the provincial executive committee (PEC) and branches to not only figure out a way forward, but to also account for the result.
“The PEC will have to meet and take stock of the situation. We will be accounting to ANC structures.
On possible coalitions, Ntuli made it clear the ANC did not want to form a coalition with the DA.
“The DA doesn’t believe in uplifting black people. We are sure that there is a very small chance that the ANC will find itself in bed with the DA,” he said.
Overall, the IEC results show the province now has 21 hung municipalities, the highest number ever.