ANC to launch election manifesto after intense opposition campaigns

Monday will see the biggest party, the African National Congress (ANC), reveal its pledges and promises under lockdown conditions, with only 500 expected to attend the manifesto launch in Tshwane’s Church Square at 5 pm.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa in Naledi, Soweto, on Saturday 18 September 2021 to encourage eligible voters to register to vote for the upcoming local government elections. Picture: Athi Geleba/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - Electioneering for the local government elections ratcheted up a gear at the weekend, with the two biggest opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), unveiling their election manifestos at very different launches – a virtual event for the DA, and a rally by the EFF.

Monday will see the biggest party, the African National Congress (ANC), reveal its pledges and promises under lockdown conditions, with only 500 expected to attend the manifesto launch in Tshwane’s Church Square at 5 pm.

The ANC wants to regain control of metros like Tshwane and Joburg that it lost in the 2016 elections and turn around a steady decline in electoral support.

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The big sell is on, with all parties essentially sending the same message: “This is what we will do for you if you give us your vote.”

The ANC’s 2016 elections manifesto painted a rosy picture of a party that was delivering on the ground, but when it comes to local government, there is no longer a good story to tell where the ANC governs.

On Sunday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke of the quality of the nearly 10,000 candidates the ANC will be fielding across the country, of whom the youngest was just 20 years old.

Ramaphosa said the 4,937 proportional representation candidates and the 4,468 ward candidates were chosen only after a rigorous process to choose the most committed and capable people.

“Our young candidates will be joining hands with experienced older councillors, enabling us to build on the gains we have made. They will learn from our mistakes, for we have made mistakes that we are admitting,” Ramaphosa said,

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In that preview of the party’s election manifesto, Ramaphosa said their candidates for the 2021 local government elections were selected after a vigorous process.

The ANC candidates process has been marred by allegations of rigging with some regions complaining that qualifying candidates have been excluded.

The party also missed the initial Independent Electoral Commission’s deadline to register candidates in 93 municipalities.

But it was later allowed to register them following a Constitutional Court ruling.

The party has registered nearly 10,000 candidates of which 46% are women.

The ANC’s manifesto is expected to acknowledge mistakes made by the governing party, but it will also stress that the ANC was doing things differently this time around – getting communities to help select candidates being just one example.

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