Former president Jacob Zuma.
Despite running battles with ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa, former president Jacob Zuma wants the ruling party to return to power after next year’s general elections.
Zuma, who at one point referred to Ramaphosa as “corrupt”, over the weekend told ANC ward 10 branch members in Mandeni on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal, that despite the internal problems within the governing party, people should vote for it in next year’s polls.
“The ballot is the only weapon available to us if we want to overcome poverty and promote development within our communities. We know that there are currently a number of political parties promising people all sorts of things.The reality is that all these political parties have done absolutely nothing for our people. The ANC is the only political party with a programme which is able to give the poor economic power,” Zuma said.
“So, if someone within the ANC treated you badly, that can’t be an excuse for not going to the polls and voting for the ANC. The ANC doesn’t belong to any individual — it’s a party for the people. The ANC wants to bring real changes in this country and the only way it can do that is when we give it a decisive majority at the polls.
“So, it’s unwise not to vote for the ANC in next year’s general elections because you are aggrieved or because you have a problem with a certain leader. This will never change anything. Instead, such a decision will reverse the gains we have made over years of struggle for the betterment of the lives of indigenous people.”
Zuma, who in 2018 was recalled by the ANC national leadership while serving his second term as the country’s president, remains popular in KZN.
The ANC KZN secretary, Bheki Mtolo, said Zuma will work for ANC victory in the upcoming elections. “He reiterated his commitment towards campaigning for the ANC to ensure the party’s resounding and landslide victory in next year’s 2024 general elections,” said Mtolo.
“[Zuma] encouraged the people of this province to vote for the ANC in order to defeat the beneficiaries of apartheid who want to see indigenous people forever trapped in abject poverty,” he said.
As previously reported by the Mail & Guardian, a new poll conducted by the Brenthurst Foundation and SABI Strategy Group has found that the governing party is set to lose its majority in Gauteng and KZN in next year’s elections. The survey was based on a 15 minute telephonic interview conducted with a sample of 1 500 registered voters between 11 September and 3 October this year.
In Gauteng, 37% of respondents said they would vote for the ANC, equal to the number of those who said they would vote for parties in the Multi Party Charter for South Africa (MPC), while 18% intended to vote for the EFF.
In KwaZulu-Natal, 32% indicated support for the ANC, compared with 27% for the IFP, 19% for the DA and 15% for the EFF.
The ANC in KZN has indicated that it will rope in Zuma, former ANC premiers Sbu Ndebele, Zweli Mkhize, Willies Mchunu, Senzo Mchunu and former MPLs, Mike Mabuyakhulu and Sipho Gcabashe, in the party’s KZN elections campaign.
“The ANC will be announcing a programme of action of the elders as we enter the critical phase leading towards the elections,” Mtolo said.
This article first appeared in The Witness.