The ANC's message of renewal is not enough - Makhura after low poll turnout

The province is will have hung municipalities in the three metros as well as in Mogale City, Rand West and Emfuleni.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: Twitter @David_Makhura.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng ANC is again left reeling facing the worst electoral decline in municipal polls. With 67% of the votes in by Wednesday, the party looked set to retain governing majority in only two of the province’s municipalities. It has won Lesedi and Merafong.

The province is will have hung municipalities in the three metros as well as in Mogale City, Rand West and Emfuleni.

ANC has been on a steady decline over the years, and it’s projected to only manage 36.2% of the votes.

It’s a bloodbath for ANC Gauteng in 2011 local polls they had received 61% but now they are fighting for survival not only in metros but in traditional strongholds.

Their supporters once again stayed home sending a clear message to the governing party. ANC Gauteng chair David Makhura.

"So the ANC has to understand this message; that the message of renewal is not yet convincing enough. It's not time to go back, it's not time to retreat on renewal. In fact, we really have to take the paddles and not be tempting to retreat. All the interventions we've been making so far in fixing the problems, that includes dealing with the issues of corruption, the message that's coming out of this election is that it is not enough. We are not winning people back to the base of the ANC."

The failure to stem the decline in the country’s richest province is a source of panic for the ANC. The party has struggled to self-correct, with its renewal plans deepening divisions within the party.

Makhura said they can’t retreat: "That's not enough. But the deep socio-economic problems that people face, people don't feel we are doing enough... to turn around their fortunes and their futures. I want to emphasise - it is not time to go back. We really need to do much, much more. In a sense, I would say the ANC must say we are very lucky. If two thirds of the people who didn't turn up had picked another party, we would be talking about something else. But what did they do? They decided to stay at home."

The ANC now faces mammoth task of convincing opposition parties to form coalition governments with them.