The stage is set for the launch of the African National Congress (ANC) Election Manifesto at the Church Square in Pretoria later today. President Cyril Ramaphosa will unveil the governing party’s five-year action plan for the local sphere of government at seven this evening.

The party says at least 500 people will attend the launch in keeping with the COVD-19 regulations.

ANC NEC member Dakota Legoete says they chose to launch their manifesto because they have seen that the opposition has failed.

He says with their differences set aside, he is content that they will govern the city after elections.

According to Chief Research Specialist in Democracy and Citizenship at the Human Science Research Council, Professor Joleen Steyn Kotze, issues of maladministration, service delivery, and divisions within the party are likely to feature prominently in the election manifesto.

The SABC will stream the event: 

The ANC has seen dwindling support at the 2006 and 2011 municipal elections, receiving an average of 65% of the votes. However, in 2016, party support fell to an all-time low of approximately 54% of the vote.

Steyn-Kotze says the party faces a tough challenge of reassuring voters through its manifesto.

“While the ANC at their manifesto launch later this evening may narrate and may say, ‘yes we’ve had failures; yes, we take responsibility for our failures,’ I think it is a narrative that ordinary citizens and voters have heard, consistently, especially since the 2011 local government elections. And one would hope that in this build-up, which is very short, as we know, to the upcoming local government elections, I am not a 100% sure what the ANC can do to almost convince voters to give it that proverbial second chance, third chance, to bring municipalities on par with service delivery.”

The SACP has urged the governing ANC to fully implement and comply with the provisions of its election manifesto as opposed to relying on business intervention.

Alliance partners including the SACP and Cosatu have participated in the crafting of the manifesto of the governing party.

The two alliance partners are also campaigning for the ANC in these local elections.

Speaking to the SABC on the sidelines of the ANC Election Manifesto launch, the SACP First Deputy General Secretary Solly Mapaila says they want the ANC to implement what is contained in their manifesto.