Faizel Patel
Senior Digital Journalist
2 minute read
23 Jul 2022
1:04 pm

ANC does not own voters, lost its appeal to deliver a better life – Sihle Zikalala

Faizel Patel

Zikalala says loss of support from voters for the ANC include the arrest of Jacob Zuma, the July unrest and service delivery failures

Sihle Zikalala at the ANC's 9th provincial elective conference in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal which kicked off on Friday night Photo: Twitter

Outgoing African National Congress (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zikalala says it is clear from previous elections that the party does not own voters and lost its appeal to deliver a better life for all South Africans.

Zikalala was delivering the political report at the 9th provincial elective conference in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal which kicked off on Friday night.

ALSO READ: “What has Zuma done?” Delegates burst into song as ANC KZN conference gets underway

He says the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and nationally faces challenges in the elections.

“With poor turnout in the organisation’s strongholds, the ANC witnessed a decline and substantial loss of support with the 2021 local government elections. It is clear from the results that the ANC does not own the voters.

“It is also clear that that the ANC may have lost its broad-based mass character, broad appeal, and ability to mobilise the whole of society behind it and its programme of delivering a better life for all, Zikalala said.

Zikalala added that reasons for the loss of support include the depressed national mood due to the Covid 19, the distressed economy, unemployment, increase in poverty, the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma.

He said it also included the deadly July unrest, distrust of the ANC-led government, enormous service delivery failures including water and electricity, corruption allegations, leadership conflicts, and ANC financial woes.

Zikalala says the National Executive Committee (NEC) has been grappling with the issue of fighting corruption and restore the integrity of the movement.

“It is the deep levels of inequality, rising unemployment, poverty, and poor service delivery that have also undermined the hegemony and legitimacy of the ANC. These factors contribute to a rise in violent crime and social instability.”

“Perceived and real corruption involving the ANC in the public sector has emboldened the forces of reaction and undermined the transformation agenda of the ANC,” Zikalala said.

Arrest of Zuma

Zikalala also said 2021 was characterised by a painful period with the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma which followed a ruling by the Constitutional Court.

“We were deeply pained by the decision of the apex court which we still believe could have been averted if President Zuma’s wish for the Commission Chair to recuse himself had been granted.”

“The sentence was harsh for our beloved elderly statesman and we noted that the sentence imposed deviated from established prescripts where President Zuma was given 15 months not even the prescribed 6 months in the Commissions Act,” Zikalala added.

Nominations for the top 5 officials in the ANC KZN provincial structure are underway on Saturday.

ALSO READ: Num urges Gordhan to stop interfering in running of SOE’s