/ 13 May 2019

ANC and DA hold internal meetings to talk election performance

Parties will now have to pull their posters and think of a way forward.
President Cyril Ramaphosa leads the celebrations for the ANC after their election victory. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

With the 2019 national elections over, the ANC and DA are holding internal meetings today to work out what went wrong — and right — as well as the way forward.

For the ruling party, the loss of 19 seats in the National Assembly will be a key agenda for its national executive committee (NEC). The party secured 230 seats, compared to 249 seats in the 2014 election.

With fewer seats, the ANC committee will most likely discuss which politicians will miss out on a seat in parliament. The party came under fire before the election for including members on its list people who are implicated in allegations of state capture before the elections. These include Malusi Gigaba, Bathabile Dlamini, Nomvula Mokonyane and Mosebenzi Zwane.

The party has to resolve issues such as this before the May 25 inauguration of President Cyril Ramaphosa, and the start of the sixth administration. That inauguration will depart from tradition, taking place at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane, instead of the usual Union Buildings venue.

The theme, according to the Presidency’s website is: “Together celebrating 25 years of freedom: Renewal and Growth for a better South Africa.”

The Democratic Alliance (DA)’s federal executive, the highest decision-making body of the party, is also meeting today.

They are expected to “deep-dive” into election results, the party’s spokesperson Mabine Seabe told the Mail & Guardian.

The party lost five seats in the National Assembly, bringing its total number of seats down from 89 to 84. It also lost its role as official opposition in Mpumalanga to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

“The DA will see where the gaps are, prepare to govern once again in the Western Cape and make progress in that province, as well as prepare for the role of opposition in the other eight provinces,” said Seabe.

One of the most contentious topics that might be discussed is the fate of party leader Mmusi Maimane. Speaking on Radio 702, federal council chair James Selfe would not confirm whether or not Maimane would continue in his role. But, according to Seabe, this discussion will not be on today’s agenda. “The topic of leadership will not be on the table for now,” said Seabe. “The organisation is not led by an individual – Mmusi does not lead alone. The top leadership will assess where mistakes were made.”

Instead, Seabe said that the issue of leadership will be discussed in 2021, at the party’s elective meeting.

Seabe said that the party went into this election with the slogan “One South Africa for All” and this would continue to serve as its framework.