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‘We’ll engage SA’s middle class in Gauteng over e-tolls’

Gwede Mantashe says just like in the 2014 elections, e-tolls have played a major part in how people voted.

Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has told Eyewitness News the ANC will engage middle class South Africans in Gauteng regarding e-tolls, as this has cost the party in the local government elections.

He was speaking on the sidelines at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Results Centre in Pretoria.

Mantashe said just like in the 2014 national elections, e-tolls have played a major part in how people voted in Gauteng.

"Sentiments are still there, you must remember when you talk of the middle class, the lower end of the middle class are young professionals who've just bought a house, bought a small car and when you add any additional costs it talks to the pocket and they react to that."

The party says it will engage the middle class in the province.

"The way you resolve that is to continue to engaging them. That debate we must open in a soft way, without being in conflict with anybody."

There has been a tight race to capture Tshwane and Johannesburg.

NKANDLA PLAYED A ROLE

Meanwhile, Mantashe also said the Nkandla issue affected the party's support in urban areas.

Following the Constitutional Court judgement on Nkandla earlier this year, several branches of the ANC in Gauteng called on the president to step down.

Some party stalwarts also joined in, with many predicting that the controversy would cost the part at the polls.

Now Mantashe concedes Nkandla is one of the factors that cost the party.

"All those issues will be considered, particularly in urban areas but there are factors but they're not the sole factors that are costing us."

The ANC says it will do its own analysis of their performance, listen to the people and self-correct.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has already claimed victory for Tshwane, with their projections showing they will be the biggest party there.