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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Elections 2024: Our numbers are rising, bring it on – ANC

Polls show rise in numbers against all predictions, says stalwarts, as ANC shares its confidence of getting an outright victory.

Two ANC stalwarts are confident the party will sail to victory when the election results are announced on Sunday and have challenged the opposition to bring it on.

They say the ANC has added fire to its election campaign and was aiming for an outright victory.

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Businessman and former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa and the party’s retired parliamentarian, Mnyamezeli Booi, are bullish about the ANC’s performance in Wednesday’s elections.

They say with the party releasing all its available resources for its election campaign, victory was certain – which would shock its detractors.

“The polls are showing the ANC numbers rising contrary to earlier predictions. We have put fire in our campaign, we have put all hands on deck, nothing will stop us.

“Let them bring it on, we are going beyond 50% in this election,” Phosa said.

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Booi, a former ANC whip and long-serving MP before he retired, said President Cyril Ramaphosa, party secretary-general Fikile Mbalula and the entire national executive committee members had “fought a clean battle”.

“This has been about visibility, Cyril and the secretary-general presented a confident, united ANC and that worked of us,” said Booi.

He said the ANC had fought well and fiercely when it was being challenged. It had faced a new challenge from Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe party and opinion polls show it is bound to lose its parliamentary majority.

“The effect of demonising the ANC and for it to appear as a victim of counter-revolution has always contributed to its strength.

“It gets more sympathy from the people who want to defend their movement with their votes,” Booi said.

The Mbeki effect

He said former president Thabo Mbeki’s support for the ANC’s leadership had an important effect in attracting votes and capturing undecided voters.

He said those who had left the ANC had returned to “defend the ANC against looters”.

“The Mbekites are back in the centre as TM [Thabo Mbeki] campaigns,” he said, referring to Mbeki supporters.

Booi said the ANC worked differently from other political parties because it has a layer of structures and alliance partners complementing one another during election campaigns.

The women’s and the youth leagues and alliance members ran their own campaigns that contributed to the main campaign to win voters for the ANC.

“The leagues and alliance members rallied behind the ANC leadership and that will have a bigger effect in victory for it in the election,” Booi said.

Social media had also had a big impact in improving the ANC’s link with digitally connected voters.

ANC had a better campaign strategy

Independent political analyst Khanyi Magubane said the ANC had a better campaign strategy in this election than previously.

“I think they drive a hard campaign. I think the ANC is also reactive when it comes to crunch time. Local government starts working – streetlights are fixed, grass is cut, roads are tarred – we see the implementation of programmes.

“So the ANC stays resilient because of pressure, they remember who they are and rush to perform. They use this as a way of winning votes,” Magubane said.

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The ANC has certainly had a well-resourced election campaign considering it had the biggest slice of funding by the Electoral Commission of South Africa.

“The ANC’s strength is its ability to maintain its presence and processes as a party – the ANC is big on process. There is a way of doing things from national to provincial to regional to zonal and down to a branch level.

“Even when there is turmoil at national level, the lower levels for the most part, keep to party processes which keeps the party going.

“This is why the position of secretary-general has always been so important because it’s the office that communicates at multilevel structures of the party,” said Magubane.