PAC regroups from factional divisions, targets rural vote

The PAC, which has emerged from a protracted period of internal turmoil, is focused on winning the minds and hearts of rural communities in Wednesday’s general elections.

Party president Mzwanele Nyhontso said though the party was targeting the rural vote, this did not mean it had abandoned the urban constituency.

“We are making entries in those communities. We are winning over the underclass who are unemployed, under-skilled, marginalised, and living in hellholes in the urban areas,” Nyhontso said.

Not funded by big funders

“We are not on huge billboards because we cannot afford to compete at that level with Oppenheimer-funded newcomers in politics.” 

The IEC recently revealed that R437-million of political party funding was declared to the electoral body.

The DA received 42% of the money donated by the Oppenheimer family and tycoon Moshal. Herman Mashaba-led ActionSA received 41% and Mmusi Maimane’s Build One SA received 7%. The new kid on the block Rise Mzansi received a R15-million donation from the Oppenheimers. The PAC is not among the big money recipients.

Nyhontso cautioned, though, that the PAC had something in store despite constraints in financial resources. He added that “our work in focusing on the rural vote is paying dividends”.

“We have been working extremely hard to expunge from our midst a party of misfortunes and internal power struggles. [It has been replaced] with a party that is confident of serving with distinction the African child wherever they may be,” he said.

Regrouped after divisive internal squabbles

In this context, the PAC leader was referring to previous years’ squabbles and breakaways that were tearing the party apart. This caused factional divisions, which largely impeded progress and growth.

“This is a thing of the past. We are an Africanist party with a single vision and mission. [That] of being a servant of the people,” Nyhontso said.

Asked how he was reading the political mood as election day approaches. Also how he thought his party would perform. Given the fact that in previous elections the organisation failed to gain traction in terms of electoral support. The PAC president said: “We are confident; we are contesting for real political power in the May 29 elections.

“We have been on the ground for protracted periods. And the feedback from our constituencies is positive and encouraging. We are building on this and are making good progress. And the result at the ballot box will show.

Aims to be a visible footprint in the political landscape

“We want to empower our people to be self-sufficient. Winning as many seats as possible in parliament and in legislatures will give us visible footprint in the political landscape. And this will be in our endeavours. To give our people hope in terms of representing their aspirations.

“We are committed to helping the Africans to acquire skills and knowledge in all facets of life. To encourage them to strive to perform with excellence at every endeavour of work they engage in. We must restore the dignity of the people.”

Youth leader

Nyhontso’s words are corroborated by his young protégé – a youthful leader by the name of Zaza Simthandile Tyali. The youth leader pledged that the PAC is on the ascendancy. She said it is “being renewed into a vibrant political party ready to embrace new challenges. To also challenge for power more aggressively.  

“While holding onto the values and prescripts of the founders … it is a new energised PAC the voters will see. I am proudly feminist, and we hope to bring that element to the PAC. As we embark on a project of bringing young people to the Africanist fold,” Tyali said.

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