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Zuma's popularity to be put to the test in PE

ANC heavyweights in green, black & gold have been drumming up support in Nelson Mandela Bay.

FILE. President Jacob Zuma addressed a group of South African Ministers and private sector parties at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on 21 January 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma will launch his party's election manifesto in Port Elizabeth tomorrow amid much fanfare, and with the backing of most of the party's provincial committees.

Some African National Congress (ANC) branches in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape have broken ranks, joining a chorus of voices saying that Zuma should step down.

The president has come under fire for breaching the Constitution in his handling of the costly Nkandla saga.

But the ANC's national leadership has accepted his apology and are continuing to back him as the face of their local government election campaign.

ANC heavyweights in outfits of green, black and gold have been drumming up support in Nelson Mandela Bay, one of the hotly contested battlegrounds for August's local government elections.

In the 2011 municipal poll, the ANC got just under 52 percent of the vote to win control of the Eastern Cape Metro, but the Democratic Alliance (DA)'s campaign is in full swing.

ANC Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize said the party doesn't take voters for granted.

"We have to convince everybody about the relevance of the ANC, its policies and accept the mistakes."

He said while some people may be unhappy with Zuma's leadership, the ANC has to be careful about taking decisions that could destabilise it ahead of the elections.

Mkhize said the ANC's national leaders have been speaking to various structures about the party's position.

"I ran a whole cadres forum meeting in the OR Tambo region and the Secretary-General was running one in Buffalo City municipality. There are lots of these meetings going on as we speak."

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