ROAD TO 2024 ELECTIONS
Despite problems, SA is not a failed state, says ANC during Western Cape leg of 2019 manifesto review
Fresh from its provincial conference, the ANC in the Western Cape held its first public event on Sunday, which leaders considered successful, even if it was moved to a smaller venue.
The ANC has slapped down the notion that South Africa is a failed state.
Indicators of a failed state include the inability of a government to provide basic public services, enforce laws or protect citizens from violence.
“A failed state cannot possibly exist in an environment where we have a thriving and robust independent judiciary that continues to work uninterruptedly,” ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri told members on Sunday, 8 October, in Khayelitsha, where the party was holding the Western Cape leg of its 2019 manifesto review.
“A failed state doesn’t work in an environment where you’ve got a thriving media that is unmediated by any governing party. It does not work in an environment where you have thriving civic, social movements, progressive and non-progressive social movements,” she said.
The party is hosting manifesto reviews across the country, and claims it is going back to its supporters to account for the mandate it received from voters in the 2019 national and provincial elections.
Bhengu-Motsiri said South Africa continued to be a thriving democracy despite its challenges. She said the ANC accounted for the things it has not done well, hence the manifesto reviews across the country.
The challenges, however, are immense.
The 2021/22 municipal audit outcomes released by the Auditor-General (AG) in May 2023 painted a bleak picture of municipalities around the country.
When releasing the report, AG Tsakani Maluleke said local government institutions had continued to deteriorate over the years.
“We see the impact of this in the delivery of services on the ground; we see it in the continued deterioration of infrastructure; we see it in the continued inability to put projects on the ground;and we see it in the trust deficit that grows between local governments and the people that they serve,” Maluleke said.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Local government litany of woe — municipal decay and its dire consequences for service delivery
Just last week, Police Minister Bheki Cele announced that there were 130 murders in the Western Cape in the last week of September.
The ANC is hosting its Western Cape leg of the 2019 manifesto review at the OR Tambo Community hall in Khayelitsha. Keynote speaker is the ANC’s 2nd DSG, Maropene Ramakgopa pic.twitter.com/QDo2sWhwyv
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ANC gears up for 2024
In the Western Cape, the party opted for a smaller venue for its manifesto review, the OR Tambo Community Hall. The event was first scheduled to be held at the Khayelitsha Stadium, but it was postponed and moved to a different venue.
While party insiders said there were fears that the ANC would not manage to attract enough people to fill a stadium, ANC provincial chairperson Vuyiso “JJ” Tyhalisusu said the party chose the venue because of the province’s unpredictable weather.
The party managed to fill the community hall.
Support for the ANC has been dipping in the province. In the last national election in 2019, the ANC attracted just over 28% of the vote in the Western Cape, down from 45.2% in 2004. The DA garnered more than 55% in 2019.
The ANC is looking to reverse its electoral decline and for the first time in over five years, it recently elected leaders at both regional and provincial levels. Before this, ANC structures in the province had been disbanded over claims of factionalism and the loss of voter support.
Moropene Ramokgopa, the party’s second deputy secretary-general, delivered a keynote address where she said that after three decades since the transition to democracy in 1994, South Africa is a better place, with a vibrant and resilient democracy.
“We have, through six ANC governments, ensured a continuous programme of creating a better life, working to transform the economy and create jobs, address poverty and inequality, building safer communities and advancing the African agenda.”
She said some of the ANC government’s achievements included increased access to housing, electricity, water and sanitation, and working to improve the quality and maintenance of these services and expand infrastructure.
“We have attracted investments of over R1.5-trillion [and have] master plans to grow economic sectors such as tourism, agriculture, automotive, textile, agriculture and other sectors. Through the Presidential Employment Stimulus, we have provided over 1.2 million people with job opportunities and livelihood support.”
Speaking about the Western Cape, she said the province was divided into two.
“The services people get in Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Philippi are not the same services people from other places receive.”
She encouraged people to help the ANC unseat the DA, which has been in power since 2009.
While the manifesto review was hosted in a smaller venue, the turnout for the event will give the party a boost in confidence as it was its first event since the new provincial leadership was elected in June.
Tyhalisusu said the attendance showed that people were willing to give the ANC a chance to claim back the Western Cape.
“People have been hungry for leadership and people came in numbers to listen to the message of the ANC. Come next year, the leadership that will be in Wale Street [the provincial legislature offices] will be from the ANC.”
An attendee at the manifesto review, Nosethu Hola, said that despite the ANC’s shortcomings nationally, she would still vote for them next year.
“The party is renewing itself and getting rid of criminals within us. There is no better party to vote for than the ANC in this country.” DM