‘Prodigal son’ Nqaba Bhanga promises to help ANC win elections

The ANC in the Eastern Cape scored a major political victory this week with the announcement of the return of its “prodigal son”, Nqaba Bhanga.
Since the DA fired him in 2023 due to a disagreement with party heavyweight Helen Zille, Bhanga, a former DA provincial leader and mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, has been without a political home.
He has been a key figure for the main opposition in the Eastern Cape for many years, but just days before the May 29 elections, he rejoined the ruling party, boosting the party’s prospects in the province, especially in the Nelson Mandela region.
On Thursday, the national executive committee deployee, Mmamoloko Kubayi, welcomed Bhanga back to the party at Florence Matomela House, the ANC’s regional office in Gqeberha.
Kubayi said that she was excited that Bhanga had come back “home”.
“People have reflected that there is a need for them to come back home, and we are welcoming them,” Kubayi, who is also the minister of human settlements, said.
“What is exciting for me is that the ANC is now an organisation that is more attractive to many people who believe that we are on track.
“Yes, we are acknowledging that there are weaknesses and mistakes, as President Cyril Ramaphosa continues to say, and we are correcting those mistakes.
“The renewal of the ANC is the primary job that we have now. But winning these elections is defending the gains of our democracy.”
She said Bhanga and others who have joined the ANC are there to help the people of Nelson Mandela Bay.
According to Kubayi, people from Nelson Mandela Bay have expressed outrage because they believed the coalition government’s instability, which did not serve their interests, was preventing the city from functioning.
“What we are doing now is laying the foundation for the 2026 local government elections. We believe that this city will be back in the hands of the ANC, and the work has begun.”
Only ANC can free people from their struggles
Bhanga said he had not taken the decision to rejoin the ANC lightly, adding that he is convinced that the ruling party is the only political vehicle to drive the liberation of ordinary people from their daily struggles.
According to Bhanga, his goal is to contribute, engage with his branch and civil society, and carry out any necessary tasks to ensure Nelson Mandela Bay’s success.
“Many people in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro are worried that our city is not working. The people who can build it are all of us,” Bhanga said. 
“I am calling on everybody, even those who have been bitter about something, to come back. The current leadership of the ANC is so consistent in saying they are renewing the ANC in order for it to be a modern vehicle.”
He said he liked the fact that he was part of the process to renew the ANC, despite the challenges that the organisation faces.
“That’s why I am calling all comrades, especially my generation and the generation before, to come back to the movement to save the people of the Nelson Mandela region,” he said.
“If people don’t go and vote, it’s going to be a big problem. We are going to assist the ANC in taking over Nelson Mandela Bay in the next local government elections.
“We must start in these elections to go out in numbers to build this movement and make a decisive victory for the ANC.”
Region welcomes Bhanga with open arms
He intends to use his skills and experience to assist the ruling party to woo the voters, and he promised not to sleep to ensure a victory for the ANC, particularly as parties are making a final push this weekend to boost their chances of getting elected.
The ANC in the Nelson Mandela Bay region also welcomed Bhanga back to its ranks.
“Although some of them ventured into other political parties, they have maintained their disdain for injustice,” said Siphiwo Tshaka, the ANC’s Nelson Mandela Bay acting regional secretary.
“That is why they have come back to be active participants in the only vehicle best suited for advancing the struggle for social justice, which is the ANC.”


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