The ANC in Gauteng says it would rather go to the opposition benches than get into coalitions if it fails to win over the province’s confidence when the South Africans vote in just under two weeks’ time.
This is according to its provincial chairperson David Makhura, who is also premier of Gauteng. He made the comments on Friday, after giving former South African president and ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe a tour of the ANC’s display at the Rand Easter Show, currently underway at Nasrec.
The ANC has been on slow decline in the province, only managing to get just above 50% in the 2014 national and provincial elections. They also lost control of all its metros in the 2016 local government elections, and are currently leading a coalition government in Ekurhuleni through the assistance of smaller political parties.
“We will not want to be in power for its own sake, we are not desperate to go into coalitions with parties, that will not help us to deliver on our vision,” said Makahura to journalists.
He said the ANC was a “profoundly” democratic organisation, that would accept the May 8 results, even if it meant voters showed no confidence in the ANC.
Makhura said he remained confident, admitting that the former liberation movement had not managed to fully regain the trust people once had in the party.
“Coalitions don’t work, people go into coalitions for political expediency,” he said.
Makhura said the only way for the ANC to be in power is if the people want it to be, reiterating that they were not desperate.
“Like we are in Johannesburg and in Tshwane, if we have no majority we will go to the opposition benches and start afresh, reconnect with our people,” he said.
Will be better than 2014
Makhura also said the ANC has been working on renewing itself and believed it was addressing “fundamental weaknesses” the party had shown over the years.
He also said polls and commentators who had written the party off in Gauteng were now changing their tact.
“They are no longer as sure as they were in terms of the ANC (being) below 50%, from the work we are doing ourselves we are very confident,” said the province’s premier.
He added that even the ANC’s own internal polls were showing favourable results for his party.
“The ANC is regaining public confidence (through) the steps that the organisation is taking to address the concerns that were pertinent and rife in 2014 and 2016,” said Makhura.