ANC in KZN confident despite challenges ahead of 2024 Elections

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The ANC leadership in KwaZulu-Natal says it is confident of the party’s prospects ahead of the general elections on May 29th. This despite their admission that this year’s elections are likely to be their most trying.

The party is expecting thousands of supporters, the majority from the province, to pack Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium for its manifesto launch on Saturday.

KwaZulu-Natal is being touted as the battleground ahead of the elections. The ANC has dubbed its manifesto launch, Mayihlome, a Zulu word to mean, “Let’s be armed”.

Party leaders led by ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa are currently in the province, mobilising support. The ANC, like some of the country’s top parties, have their sights set on KZN.

In the 2019 national poll, the ANC obtained 57.50 percent of the votes. Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal combined gave the ANC just under half of the total number of votes cast nationally.

Provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo says they know fully well the tough road that lies ahead but are confident that the ANC’s historical track record will save them

“I think it is clear to everyone now that the doomsayers who think the ANC is gonna lose and all that, they are starting to realize that the ANC is the biggest party. I think it’s because of its track record of having changed the people’s lives, of course with all some shortfalls that we have not reached other people, but people do appreciate that the ANC has really changed their lives through the interventions we are making to each and every household. We may not have given you a bridge, we may not have given you a clinic, but in your household, the ANC government has a direct invention in each and every household people do appreciate that.”

Recent independent polls suggest a possible decline in electoral support for the ANC compared to previous elections. The party is up against a number of political parties and independent candidates.

However, despite early indications that the uMkhonto we Sizwe party could pose a threat to the ANC based on its showing in recent by-elections in the province, Mtolo says they’re not fazed.

“This one is of socialites, people who have got no experience of anything that socialites and all that, but even those that are there that come from us, are people who have been a burden to the ANC which we say it is good riddance, it was inevitable because one thing that that people must also understand a renewed ANC. It must accept that there are people who will not be in the renewed ANC, someone who does not respect the public purse when he sees public money and his money he thinks it’s the same, a person who runs maladministration in government will never be in the renewed ANC because that kind of an ANC will be a new ANC, that’s why they say it’s the ANC of Ramaphosa because they think is the wrong ANC, is the ANC that is going back to its roots.”

Independent political analyst Professor Bheki Mngomezulu believes that the ANC’s challenges, however, run deeper than its performance in government. He says over the past years, the party has been fractured by internal squabbles …

“Even before the emergence of uMkhonto Wesizwe, the party was already in disarray, because not of other political parties so it’s a self-inflicted wound, because of the internal squabbles which have meant that the ANC is not reading from the same hymn book. Even before you factor in the DA, EFF, IFP and all other parties already the ANC had been weakened and this is evidenced by the results of the 2021 Local Government Election when the ANC lost a number of municipalities.”

Mngomezulu is of the view that manifestos don’t win elections.

“There are people who will vote for a party having not heard even a single sentence, they don’t know what is contained in the manifesto, all they want is to vote for a party for other reasons, maybe because of association with some of the leaders then they will want to vote, maybe because it is the party that my family has been voting for. But I don’t think manifestos will sway voters to vote for a particular party.”

ANC President Ramaphosa confident of sweeping victory in all nine provinces