<html> <head> <title>ANC Western Cape PEC January 2001 bulletin

ANC Western Cape PEC January 2001 bulletin

ANC Western Cape PEC January 2001 bulletin

25 January 2001

ANC consolidates support base!

Since the last local government elections on 5 December 2000, the DA, political commentators and journalists have had much to say. By and large, the consensus they tried to create in South Africa was that the DA won the elections nationally and the ANC was routed in the Western Cape.

The only perspective that was absent was the truth. When President Thabo Mbeki opened the NEC Lekgotla he set about analysing the election results in detail. So what are the facts:

  • the ANC across the country won 72% of municipalities
  • we have a mandate to govern 86% of the population
  • the ANC is the undisputed political choice of the overwhelming majority

Although the DA in the Western Cape won the election, we were able to consolidate our support we gained in the 1999 national and provincial elections.

So, while the balance of forces have not changed dramatically since 1999, the balance of power in local government has shifted with the DA controlling more councils. The reasons are simple:

  • We no longer had the 50/50 system which advantaged us in 1995/96 by giving African areas 50% of the wards. This previously gave us control over many municipalities, especially Cape Town.
  • We were no longer dealing with a divided opposition (NNP and DP), but with a united one (DA). In previous elections their split vote gave us an advantage in some wards and municipalities.
  • In some areas, the ANC vote was split because of independents who were previously from our ranks.
  • The new demarcation often combined ANC areas with bigger DA strongholds which won many wards for them.

The election results also started a debate about voter turnout. The PEC had consistently insisted that if the ANC were to win the election then it would not be good enough to win wards in ANC strongholds with small majorities. In other words, those wards must be won by 10,000 votes ­ not 5,000. This warning proved to be true. Yet the turnout in our base areas were even better than the international and national trend for local government.

But we need a higher turnout to counteract the 75% turnout in white areas for the DA. It was very clear that the DA had managed to achieve this through ringing the alarm bells on equal rates, Zimbabwe, etc. As a DA strategist told the media, ´´we just scared the hell out of whites and they voted for us.

What happened in the Coloured urban areas? As predicted by the ANC, the turnout was low (between 42% and 45%). This is a massive change from Coloured people previously going out en masse to vote against the ANC. Also, in the urban coloured areas, the ANC on average received one out of three Coloured votes, winning two wards (Athlone and Macassar) and coming within a few hundred votes of winning wards such as Blue Downs and Mamre/Atlantis. Again, the ANC largely secured the Coloured middle class, with apathy winning in the working class areas.

The challenge for us as the ANC in the next three years is based around:

  1. pushing up our ceiling of 40% to 51%;
  2. converting coloured apathy (previous hostility) into ANC support;
  3. building trust amongst our base communities in local government and councillors to ensure an enthusiastic turnout in the next election;
  4. reaching out to whites so that they feel part of the nation, they support equity and transformation, and understand their critical role in South Africa;
  5. understanding correctly our opposition role in the province and at local level so that we are able to keep the DA on the defensive and the ANC on the ground, close to our communities, taking up issues, launching campaigns and through our branches and councillors being the champion of our people.

Key branch tasks for the following six months

The NEC Lekgotla outlined the key tasks and priorities for 2001. Central to this is the realignment of ANC structures to the new municipal boundaries. The Lekgotla adopted the proposal that in general terms there should be one ANC branch per ward and one ANC region per district or metro council. This primary organisational approach would allow for flexibility where the need arises.

These demarcations should as far as possible also inform the structures of the Leagues. Ideally this should have been done by the end of April. Critical in this phase would be to broaden the movement¹s membership base, to strengthen the structures at all levels, and to ensure broader participation from our members in advancing our struggle for a better life for all our people.

The Provincial Working Committee therefore agreed that the following needs to be done:

  1. Report back meetings from all our ward councillors. Where we do not have ward councillors, the BEC´s and PR-councillors must take responsibility. These meetings must be used to inform the communities of developments since the elections, and look at the challenges facing the movement in these areas/wards. Time-frames: January - February.
  2. Membership: The problem with the membership system in the province has now been sorted out. An aggressive recruitment campaign should be driven by all our structures. This campaigns can take the form of weekend tables, door-to-door recruitment drives or other measures. For any enquiries about our membership system, contact Mvusi Mdala: 083-210-2003, or 021-696-7510.
  3. Branch AGM`s: Comrades must prepare for Branch AGM´s. Speaker request forms should be send to the Regional offices. In order for us to confirm branch credentials and secure speakers, we request comrades to give two weeks` notice of these AGM`s. Time-frames: February - March.
  4. Campaigns: Comrades should identify the campaigns to be embarked upon in their respective communities. This should be linked to a Programme Of Action for all branches.
  5. Regional Conferences: Time-frames for Regional Conferences April - May.
  6. Provincial Conference: June 2001

All relevant information regarding the above should be communicated via the Organising Department. Contact Corra Dikgacwi 082-773-1648.

Nameless document - an attempt to divide the province

Earlier a nameless document circulated within the structures of the movement and was leaked to the press. In the document our Provincial Leadership was severely criticised and lots of false accusations made.

Subsequently the Provincial Working Committee issued the following statement. Provincial Secretary Mcebisi Skwatsha said:

"The PWC is aware of the document. It has no status within the ANC. We are used to such "anonymous" documents surfacing on the eve of provincial general councils and conferences. It is not the first and will not be the last.

"It is not the work of any structure within the ANC. It is the work of a few individuals. Of great concern however are the obvious efforts made by the nameless authors to actively spread such disinformation to the print and electronic media.

"This goes directly against the call of the ANC National Lekgotla to raise matters formally within the structures of the ANC. Such individuals do not have the ANC`s interests at heart. Their conduct is unacceptable.

"At the end of the day, it is the members of the ANC, through their branch delegates, who will elect the provincial leadership at our conference later this year. This is a normal, healthy and democratic process.

"There is no place within the ANC for individuals who choose to ignore internal party structures and wage campaigns in the media. This they do against the letter and spirit of the ANC constitution."

Head of the Presidency, Cde Smuts Ngonyama said: "These allegations are malicious and without substance. There is a tendency to attack the integrity of ANC leaders before conferences and general councils with nameless documents. The NEC does not recognise it as a legitimate document and will ensure that this campaign to undermine the provincial leadership will not succeed."

No plot to "overthrow" ANC Leadership

The Congress of SA Trade Unions dismissed allegations that there was a plot to "overthrow" the Provincial Leadership.

The ANC met with Cosatu and they threw their full weight behind the Provincial Executive Committee.

Regional Secretary of Cosatu Tony Erhenreich said in a statement: "Although we all are disappointed with the election results, there is no such thing as a plot by Cosatu to change or to intervene in the leadership of the ANC. The ANC is independent of the unions."

This comes after remarks attributed to William Thomas (of Fawu) in the media. The PWC expressed its satisfaction that such remarks were not representative of the thinking in Cosatu.

ANC captures five hung councils

  1. Saldanha Bay ­ Ms Johanna Stoffels as Mayor
  2. Breede Valley ­ Ms Alice Titus will serve as Mayor
  3. Theewaterskloof ­ Ms Ellen Jansen will serve as Mayor
  4. Swellendam ­ Harry Zass will serve for the first year, and it will rotate.
  5. Laingsburg ­ the ANC gave the DA representation to the District Council. In return Mike Gouws will serve as Mayor.

In addition we are holding the following Mayoral positions:

Matzikama (Vredendal area) ­ Ms Irene Kotze
Plettenberg Bay ­ Euan Wildeman
Beaufort-West ­ Truman Prince

For any queries, comments or contributions, contact Gert Witbooi:
Tel(021) 696-7510
Fax: 696-7549
Cell 082-570-9118