The 2016 elections are almost over with ruling African National Congress (ANC) experiencing its worst elections so far since its emergence in the post-apartheid era.
According to Adam Habib, vice-chancellor of Wits university – who took a critical look at the August 3 2016 election and how it may affect the ruling party, the ANC could face massive internal conflict as it nears its worst election result since it came to power in 1994.
The Independent Electoral commission has announced 98% of the election results with the ANC maintaining a major win, across the country’s provinces, however, vice chancellor Habib is of the opinion that the 2016 election result still stand as a big blow to the ruling party in general.
“This is definitely an anti-Zuma vote,” he said, pointing out that the “modernist” wing of the ANC will have to decide whether to continue mounting pressure that will attempt to oust president Jacob Zuma.
Habib also said if the leadership in Gauteng province refuse to move against Zuma, the president might well try to move against them, by making them a scapegoat for the poor performance in both cities.
“Either way you’re going to see a massive conflict within the ANC,” Habib said, and another political analyst Susan Booysen added that the decline in support to the ANC in all the metros was as expected though the extent at which the party lost support were surprising.
With close to 100% of the votes counted, the electoral result proved that the Democratic Alliance (DA) over took the ANC in some controversial metros like the Nelson Mandela Bay where it had 46.65% of the vote in the metro while the ANC had received about 41% and the ANC which initially lodged complaint at the IEC, conceded defeat in the metro.
“Yes we agree with that (that we have lost) … but we still need to gather all the facts of the matter,” ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane noted.
ANC Metro Defeat, What Went Wrong
The party’s chief whip Jackson Mthembu who admitted that the party has witnessed its first loss in years, standing around 54%, 55%, blamed it on the party’s policies which he said have not been helpful to the people.
“Therefore the ANC must look itself in the eye because we don’t believe that any of the organisations that are on offer in South Africa have a better solution than the ANC.
“If we do have a better solution, what went wrong? If our policies are the best policies, what went wrong? If our delivery mechanisms are best, where did we go wrong, if the offerings that we were giving to our people are the best offerings (what went wrong?).”
Mthembu therefore called on the ANC to look into its offerings to urban and rural people and consider if they were still the best.
“We have to look ourselves in the face to be very critical of ourselves so that come 2019, come another election, we are able to regain the lost ground.”
The chief whip therefore admitted that the 2016 election result point to a loss for the ANC in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, but said the party remained hopeful that it would be victorious in the other highly contested metros of Johannesburg and Tshwane.