The ANC and President Jacob Zuma are under pressure with a frank report from the party’s national working committee (NWC) warning the party’s top leaders to face up to the fact the ANC is in decline or risk ultimately losing power.
Other developments on Friday are:
* A survey has revealed the overwhelming majority of South Africans believe Zuma should step down as ANC president, and as president of the country.
* Cosatu has warned if support for the ANC continues to decline as it did in last week’s local government election, its relationship with the federation and the SACP would collapse.
* The NWC dossier states scandals that have characterised state-owned enterprises, including the SABC and SAA, are having a negative impact on the ANC.
* The report also red-flags the loss of support and confidence of young people and the middle class, particularly in urban areas.
* The NWC has asked whether there is “room to revisit” the e-tolls issue in Gauteng. The party’s national executive committee (NEC) is holding a four-day meeting in Tshwane to assess its performance in the election.
In the report presented by secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, the NWC raised concerns about the huge declines recorded in every province.
The party’s NEC meeting comes amid divisions in the party about who should shoulder the blame for its poor performance – they lost Nelson Mandela Bay and the capital Tshwane, while needing a coalition to govern in Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, Rustenburg and more than 20 other hung councils.
Meanwhile, Cosatu, the country’s biggest union federation, said the “movement”, meaning the tripartite alliance, needed to take responsibility and resolve its internal squabbles. Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini, who is also an ANC NEC member, said voters had spoken and this was their final warning.
He said there was a failure to respond adequately to people’s cries over service delivery concerns, corruption and arrogant leaders.
The federation has called for an urgent alliance meeting.
Cosatu’s meeting followed the SACP’s scathing response to the ANC’s performance. It said internal conflicts, failure to deal adequately with issues over councillor lists, and the Nkandla saga were all to blame.
Meanwhile, the results from surveys by Citizen Surveys Ltd in April, May and June, taking in 1 300 South Africans across the demographic spectrum, and rural and urban areas, are sure to cause further shock waves.
Although the results vary between the nine provinces, most respondents who participated answered “No” to the question about whether Zuma should continue at the helm of the country and the ruling party.
In the Northern and Western Cape more than three quarters of respondents wanted him to step down as ANC leader, with 68 percent in the North West, 61 percent in the Eastern Cape, 60 percent in Mpumalanga, and 59 percent in Limpopo and Gauteng. Just under half of the respondents in the Free State and 38 percent in KwaZulu-Natal thought so too.
The response to whether Zuma should step down as president was equally damning. In the Northern Cape, 77 percent said he should go, with 74 percent in the Western Cape, 62 percent in Mpumalanga, 60 percent in Gauteng, 52 percent in the Free State and 40 percent in KwaZulu-Natal.
Citizen Surveys runs a monthly tracking survey which asks socio-economic and political attitude questions of respondents, and “have been designed as a complex multi-stage stratified probability sample, representative of the South African adult population aged 18 years and older” Citizen Surveys said their methodology “ensures the results are representative of the views of the population, and that findings can be weighted and projected to the rest of the country”.
The project involved face-to-face interviews, conducted in respondents’ homes, and all results were collated and analysed in an aggregate format to protect the identity and confidentiality of respondents. Monthly and quarterly weights had been developed, and the sample re-weighted to the latest mid-year population statistics in terms of province, race, gender, age and geographic area type. The results were extremely reliable, and had a high degree of credibility, according to Professor Cherrel Africa, deputy dean of the Economic and Management Sciences department at the University of the Western Cape.
“These survey results, which show a strong preference for President Zuma to step down, both as president of South Africa and as leader of the ruling party, are in line with the results from the latest Afrobarometer study which showed a dramatic decline in trust of the president,” Africa said.