Embattled ANC hopes manifesto launch can lead to improved showing in polls

The party is faced with the difficult task of trying to win back control of several metros it lost in 2016.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa on the campaign trail in Ekurhuleni on 28 September 2021. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s largest political party, the African National Congress (ANC), will get its chance to put its offer before the electorate later on Monday.

Its president, Cyril Ramaphosa, will deliver the party’s 2021 local government elections manifesto this evening in Pretoria’s Church Square.

Ramaphosa has already previewed some of the ANC’s councillor candidates, who he implored to embody ethical servant leadership.

The ANC has tried to change how it nominates its councillors, bringing in the community aspect in the selection of those who should serve in the different wards across the country.

The party is faced with the difficult task of trying to win back control of several metros it lost in 2016.

During the last local government elections, the ANC blamed its inability to address unemployment, poverty and inequality on slow economic growth – fast forward to 2021 and the picture looks much worse.

The 1 November elections also come as the party attempts to own its mistakes and renew itself.

Part of the promises expected to be made by its Ramaphosa will speak to the quality of councillors it seeks to appoint and a renewed commitment to do better if trusted by communities.

The 2016 elections confirmed the ANC’s downward path in some of the country’s metros, leaving it in several coalitions or out in the cold.

On Monday, as it addresses supporters in Tshwane, the capital city it lost grip of during the last local polls, it is hoping that its presence, though muted due to COVID-19 considerations, will win back some votes.

Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the speech at 7pm.

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