ANC leaders to meet to discuss coalition strategy in wake of election results

The election results showed that the African National Congress (ANC) still dominated in the country’s 213 municipalities, having achieved a majority in 161 of them but it saw a decline in majority support, to below 50%.

FILE: African National Congress (ANC) head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, briefs the media on 16 September 2021 on the party's plans for 2021 local government elections. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC)'s top leaders will be meeting on Friday to look back at the 2021 local government elections.

Its coalitions strategy will also be discussed.

Voters punished the party for repeated corruption scandals and poor basic services in areas that have traditionally been ANC strongholds. The election results showed that the African National Congress (ANC) still dominated in the country’s 213 municipalities, having achieved a majority in 161 of them but it saw a decline in majority support, to below 50%. At the last municipal elections in 2016, the ANC got 54%, which at the time was its lowest vote share since apartheid.

Despite the ANC's falling popularity, rival parties have not yet been able to capitalise.

The governing party has been silent on its plans and potential partners but it said that they had been engaging some parties informally.

The party's head of elections, Fikile Mbalula: "The extended national working committee of the ANC will meet and design and approve a perspective of engagement and then from there that will be our mandate to talk to other political parties. But from a point of what the result has given us, the results are very clear. The results are saying to us go and work with others."

Mbalula also conceded that the party's own weaknesses had cost it some of its strongholds.

"We need to build a strong social compact between ourselves and the people, we need to narrow the gap in terms of the trust deficit. It is there. People told us in Soweto 'we will vote but we know on Wednesday, you will disappear'. We became visitors among our people instead of becoming residents," Mbalula said.

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