The African National Congress (ANC) has set the wheels in motion in preparation for the general election in 2019, trying to reposition itself as a broad church as it actively seeks outside views and robust engagement.
The ANC held a manifesto consultative workshop in Irene where it brought together more than 600 national and provincial leaders, deployees in government from across the country, well-known activists and even academics.
The objective was to bring together a range of ideas that would be its vision of what’s best for the country in the next five years.
However, since 1994, there has been a slow electoral decline.
ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula speaks to Eusebius McKaiser and says there are varied reasons for the decline.
But in 1994 when Nelson Mandela came into power, we were at 62% and with Thabo Mbeki coming in, in 1999 we saw a boom and doubled with a two-thirds majority. And then thereafter there was a slow decline up to 2004 and now.— Fikile Mbalula, ANC elections head
There are varied reasons in terms of that decline, it can still go up or go worse. And we have entertained those, and it depends on your own strategy, on the campaign, it depends on the challenges and how you responded on those challenges.— Fikile Mbalula, ANC elections head
He adds that the last elections were informed by how the ANC had nominated its public representatives.
We generated a lot of independence moving out of the ANC and we equally over and above that had a number of things that cropped up in different provinces. Gauteng in particular, e tolls and the persistent attack on the head of the ANC.— Fikile Mbalula, ANC elections head
Which that message went, what we may call, the black professionals, what other people call clever blacks. It caused damage, but over and above that, our own intra-party squabbles and the undermining of democratic processes.— Fikile Mbalula, ANC elections head
When asked if the ANC mismanaged the Julius Malema phenomenon, which was Panyaza Lesufi's stance, Mbalula said the ANC has accepted the existence of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and said it would not dwell on that.
Julius will not say I form a party and betray the people who follow him, so he will want to continue on the trajectory of building his party.— Fikile Mbalula, ANC elections head
We must get our people out in Gauteng to go and vote. The biggest flop we had in this province is that our people didn't come out.— Fikile Mbalula, ANC elections head
Listen below to the full interview: