It was a protest vote, people love the ANC – KZN ANC leadership

ANC kwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee believes the party will regroup and arrest the electoral decline which saw the party losing its majority.

The party, which in the 2019 general elections recorded a just over 54% provincial vote, suffered a bruising defeat in the hands of it splinter grouping uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party led by former president Jacob Zuma. The liberation movement had to scrape for a meagre 16% of the voter share translating into 14 out of the 80 legislature seats. It shed 30 seats from the 44 it had in the previous administration.

Mafika Mndebele, ANC provincial spokesman, conceded that the electoral defeat was of their own making. He cited issues of service delivery, such as failure to provide water in various areas under the eThekwini metro. These contributed in the party’s mediocre showing, he said.

Nothing more than a protest vote

“This was nothing more than a protest vote from our people. They are angry at the service delivery such as water and load shedding. We do not regard it as a defeat. People still believe in the ANC. We take this as a wake-up call,” said Mndebele.

He said the party will take stock at the electoral outcome and map a way forward in preparation for the 2026 municipal elections.

Water woes the main culprit

The eThekwini metro, where the party received its heavy beating, has been under pressure from various communities. These had to live without water for months. At the heart of the water woes, according to the only metro in KZN, was sabotage. Tenderpreneurs had resorted to vandalising critical water infrastructure in order to coin it big. This with the supply of water through private water tankers. The service comes at a hefty price to the metro.

The water situation was also a rallying point for opposition parties, who called for the head of mayor Mxolisi Kaunda. The DA has had also focused its election campaign on water, visiting affected communities of Verulam and Chartsworth. It said they had a plan for putting an end to the residents’ water woes.

Meanwhile, ANC top brass were on Thursday locked in a marathon meeting. The agenda was to deliberate on what form of government will the party decide on. This as the June 16 deadline looms. The deliberations include parties that the ruling party will join forces with to constitute a government.

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