By Jessica A Badebye
South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has cast a “vote of no confidence” in its leader and country president Jacob Zuma, by agreeing not to recall him for any party position, as it acknowledged poor performance in the recent municipal election, held on 3rd August 2016.
Results in the election showed an overwhelming poor performance by ANC against Democratic Alliance (DA) in two key metropolitan areas including Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth and Tshwane in Pretoria, where the party’s complacency was crushed beyond recognition by its share of the national vote that for the first time since 1994 was below 60 per cent. Impeccable sources say that the party to that effect has taken a collective responsibility not to consider President Zuma for any position, especially after his latest statements accusing ANC’s National Executive Committee for the party’s decline and therefore accountable for the party’s weak performance in the recent government polls. President Zuma’s statements have not been taken lightly by most party members as well as the general public in South Africa, most of whom believe that the ANC’s poor performance should be traced to his administration’s corruption scandals and the ego of a party that believes it is entitled to the vote of all black South Africans.
Consequently, there have been calls for him to quit. President Zuma often boasts that ANC “will rule until Jesus comes back,” due to previous consistent clear majorities in national, provincial and local elections unlike in the 3rd August, 2016 election. According to our sources, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe confirmed the no confidence vote. He said that the election results proved that his party needs to reorganize itself to tackle the decline. The ANC viewed the results as a “clarion call” and plans to boldly “reengineer” and “reenergize” in order to “arrest the electoral decline,” Mantashe said.
He added that his party will “embark on numerous programmes to reverse the decline, including tackling corruption and stabilizing state-owned enterprises” and in addition, instructing the government to reprioritize the national budget to focus on key economic and social policies”. However, analysts say that with ANC’s 53.9 percent of the aggregate national poll in the recent municipal elections, the future of the party is blurred.