ANC NEC seeks answers over decline in support

Over the next four days, the NEC will reflect on the party’s performance in last week’s municipal election.

ANC members at the party's National Executive Committee meeting in Tshwane. Picture: ‏@MYANC.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says the party will now go back to South African citizens to hear first-hand what caused the decline in support.

There's a high security presence outside the St George Hotel in Centurion where the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC) is holding its meeting.

Members have arrived for the first day of the meeting which will see an analysis of the party's performance during this year's municipal elections.

Mantashe says the party will pay attention to the clear message from voters.

"The essence of the meeting is to say how we interpret the message from voters."

Over the next four days, the ANC's NEC will reflect on the party's performance in last week's municipal election.

The party failed to secure majority votes in 27 municipalities, including Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni.

Now the committee is expected to deliberate on which coalitions will be formed in municipalities where it lost power.

Meanwhile, the South African Communist Party (SACP) says it would be wrong for the ANC to consider disbanding the party's Gauteng leadership as punishment for losing outright control of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni.

It's been claimed that President Jacob Zuma and his allies may be considering making a move against the party in Gauteng after it called on him to resign following the Constitutional Court's finding that he failed to uphold the Constitution during the Nkandla scandal.

SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo says it would be inconsistent to argue that the ANC in Gauteng must be punished for what happened last week.

"Because the fact of the matter is there has been a major decline in ANC's electoral support across the country."

Mashilo adds disbanding one province would simply not make sense.

"We cannot just turn up and say we're going to dissolve structures, because what's going to be our response about the overall national decline."

The SACP also says this election suggests it's not just urban black voters who care about Nkandla and that people in rural areas are also clearly upset about the issue.