Mkhize agrees ANC support has dropped because communities see its flaws

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Former Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize has agreed that the African National Congress (ANC) has had a drop in electoral support over time because communities say the party has something to correct.

Mkhize says this serves as a barometer and that the ANC needs to go back to the drawing board and correct it.

The former Health Minister was speaking in an exclusive interview with SABC News.

Mkhize says it is normal for communities to show their support through their votes and in most cases what the party has been seeing over time is the decline in votes due to a number of factors such as corruption, service delivery, and distance between leadership and community.

He says now is not the time to write off the ANC.

“The historical mission of the ANC is that of improving the lives of the people of South Africa, transforming the economy and the social systems of the country. We believe the ANC has still not fulfilled the whole mission and also the time for the ANC to pack up and go has not come. What is there, is that we need to accept that the communities are saying the ANC has some things to correct and we must accept that. If we get criticised we must correct what we have done wrong and apologise, improve where we need to improve. I think as a party people had a hope that the ANC was going to make their lives better and we cannot abandon that mission,” says Mkhize.

In September the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal endorsed the former Health Minister as its preferred presidential candidate and Paul Mashatile as the deputy president.

This comes ahead of the ANC National Elective Conference in December.

Zweli Mkhize’s endorsement for ANC presidency despite recent scandals troubling: Dr. Fikile Vikalazi 

Firm stance against corruption

Mkhize says that the ANC has taken a very firm stance against corruption. Mkhize believes the party has adequate mechanisms in place to deal with corruption, citing the step-aside rule as one of the measures.

Mkhize has however cautioned the use of the provision of step-aside in an improper way thus allowing abuse within the party.

“The ANC has taken a very firm stand to fight against corruption and all leaders of the ANC are obliged to behave in a manner that is beyond reproach all the members of the ANC have to face whatever the processes are if they are related to investigation in dealing with the issue of corruption, your allegations thereof. In the case of the current situation, we believe that there are adequate mechanisms to deal with corruption within the party. When the issue of the step aside was discussed it was meant to look at additional ways to further deal with  corruption but so doing we should then fall on the side of possible allowing abuse of improper application of a provision.”

Criticism against Eskom’s leadership

Mkhize is the first ANC presidential hopeful to come out guns blazing and criticize the current leadership of Eskom saying CEO Andre de Ruyter should be fired. Mkhize says de Ruyter had been given enough time to fix Eskom. South Africa is currently experiencing Stage 3 of blackouts.

He says it cannot be that South Africa is still in this predicament.

“Here is no way out, we have to correct the problems of Eskom, we have to correct it and increase its capacity, it needs to be efficiently run, ran by people with technical capacity who understand what is the problem, not people who will also second guess what the problems are and that for me is what needs to be given attention to. I think the current leadership has been given adequate time to turn around Eskom and correct the problems of load shedding. At this point I think it will be fair to actually start looking at an alternative leadership that should take this process forward,” says Mkhize.