The ANC is in big trouble and they know it.
For the first time in a democratic election, they’ve dipped below the 60 percent majority mark – slipping to a shocking 53.91 percent.
If this was a high school kid’s report card, they’d be grounded for at least two weeks.
That’s how bad it is.
What’s even more worrying for President Jacob Zuma and his team is that they have lost control of four major metros.
They can kiss Cape Town goodbye.
And they’ll have to sweet-talk rival parties if they hope to establish coalition governments in Port Elizabeth, Pretoria and Joburg.
Basically, the ANC (and the DA for that matter) will have to go knocking on the EFF’s door and say: “Hey, Julius, you know all that stuff that went down in parliament? It’s in the past. We should work together, comrade.”
Let’s see if the same ANC bigwigs, who Juju has tormented mercilessly, will be able to eat humble pie and put on their plea baadjies.
The ruling party says that the disappointing performance at the polls was down to “ANC supporters not coming out to vote”.
More like they didn’t come out to vote for the ANC, ja.
But that’s typical of the party’s leadership – arrogance and stubbornness.
They thought they were untouchable and boasted they “would rule until Jesus comes”.
Even this time, they were confident they’d win every metro - up until the very last vote was counted.
What they won’t admit is that more and more people - especially the educated in urban areas – are choosing other parties.
They didn’t really “lose” that support as much as they handed it over to the opposition on a platter.
Let’s face it, the last couple of years have been a horror show for President Zuma – one humiliating scandal after the next.
- Parliament has been a circus, with MPs dissing No.1 left, right and centre.
- JZ was found to have violated the Constitution when he refused to pay back the money spent on non-security upgrades at his Nkandla home.
- Playing musical chairs with the Minister of Finance tripped up the economy before 2016 could even get off the ground, costing SA an estimated R6 billion and sending the rand into freefall.
- Then there’s the Gupta connections and state capture allegations.
- And most recently the #khwezi rape protest.
Throughout these controversies, ministers have stood by Zuma, to the point of compromising themselves.
Who can forget how Police Minister Nathi Nhleko defended JZ’s fire pool, chicken coop and amphitheatre?
The big question is: how long will the ANC deny that their leader is damaging the party?
Secretary general Gwede Mantashe goes to great pains to point out each time that no individual is bigger than the ANC.
That the culture, principles and structures within the organisation govern every aspect of its operation.
What Mantashe doesn’t realise is that most people don’t think like ANC members.
Ordinary people see Zuma’s face on a street poster and they are choosing not to vote for his party - it doesn’t matter how well or badly government is performing.
And it is not going to be any better in the 2019 elections.
At this rate, the ANC must be concerned that the opposition has a real chance of ousting them.
It’s time for some big decisions, a major overhaul:
- Does Zuma stay on until 2019? And what about his cabinet?
- How will the pro-Zuma and anti-Zuma factionalism at executive, branch level and within the tripartite alliance be resolved?
- How does the party clean up its image in the media of corruption and poor service delivery?
- But most importantly, how will they persuade ANC supporters who “did not come out to vote” to vote for them in 2019?
They will have to come up with a new slogan, because their 2016 election campaign tagline, “A vote for the white DA is a vote for apartheid”, did nothing but divide people.
Let’s see what happens at the party’s big lekgotla on August 26.