Remarks by Provincial Chairperson at the Special PEC Meeting

Provincial Secretary
Deputy Chairperson
PEC Members
Leadership of our Leagues and Alliance Partners
Leadership of our Alliance Partners

Good afternoon.

Let me welcome all Members of the PEC who have joined us today in this very important meeting. I’m certain I speak on behalf of all of you comrades when I say we are meeting here today after a gruelling elections campaign that culminated in the local government elections that were held on Monday, 1 of November 2021 in our country. It is my singular honour as the Provincial Chairperson to commend all leaders of our movement, Alliance partners, mass democratic movement, organs of civil society and volunteers across all regions for working together to ensure a successful and resounding electoral victory of the ANC in the Eastern Cape. Currently, we are leading with 62.99 of the total votes that have been counted so far. This victory belongs to you my dear Comrades.

Regrettably, the national average is worrisome, the ANC is uncomfortably leading at 45.64%. Surely, this is not a very good picture at all and is clear indication that things are not well within the Movement.

Let me for a moment say something about our Campaign and how we have conducted it. Truth be told we had limited time to prepare for these elections, our campaign was characterised by a unity of purpose, it was well coordinated and there was cooperation amongst all leaders and volunteers. Notwithstanding the challenges of resources that we had, limited T-Shirts, in some instances our volunteers had sacrifice theirs and give them to communities. In some instance Comrades donated their cars so that the movement can carry potential ANC voters to their respective voting stations. We saw in action the true spirit of camaraderie and indeed this is what defined us as cadres of the movement. This is something that was a marvel to experience across the regions of our Province.

On that note I would request the IT people to unmute all of us so that we can have a big round of applause for a job well done. Thank you, Comrades! Ukuba asizincomi azizonconywa ngumntu. Wona umzamo omhle siwuzamile, kodwa ugqatso asikalufezi. I so wish that we can emulate the same attitude, commitment, dedication and cooperation we displayed during this election period to truly change the lives of our people for the better across the Province.

The victories we have recorded in these elections are a result of our collective hard work. We must not let anyone to take this moment away from us, because despite all the challenges that are faced by our movement, we have retained all most all the municipalities we governed except for two hung local municipalities (DR Beyers Naude, Koukama and Nelson Mandela Metro). That is an outstanding achievement Comrades in a province that has 39 municipalities, particulalry when you consider the context of what is happening in other Provinces where there is a huge shift in the electoral landscape.

We must also wholeheartedly credit the people of our Province for the achievement in this local government election because they continued to show loyalty and trust in the ANC despite many of our failings in the past term.
More than 1.8 million people in our Province went out to Vote ANC on Monday, 1 November 2021, an elections that were marking 21st anniversary of our developmental local government . This is despite a low voter turnout nationally. Because of their democratic choice to Vote for the ANC, our people are being subjected to insults by our political and ideological opponents, inside and outside the Province. It is therefore our responsibility as leaders of the ANC to do the right thing and deliver the services to our people without fail. In all the municipalities that we will govern, we will put the ordinary people first and deliver the services as promised. Their needs not ours come first.

As we collectively celebrate the electoral victory that we have gained during these elections, we must equally shoulder responsibility for the hung municipalities where we did not get enough votes to lead on our own. We must do a thorough assessment of why we failed to gain enough support in those municipalities and work towards fixing what went wrong. There is no better panacea to our challenges than humbling ourselves to the electorate Comrades and admitting our shortcomings. There is equally no better way to repent than not repeating the mistakes we have made in the past.

I believe our humble approach to regain the trust of our people has worked wonders in Nelson Mandela Metro and we almost won back that council outright. Credit once again goes to all cadres of our movement who worked tirelessly in the Nelson Mandela Metro to gain back lost ground. We now have a monumental task as this PEC to decide what our position is on the hung municipalities in our Province.

I would like us to remember Comrades that this is not about us and how we feel about working with opposition parties. There are thousands of people of who voted for the ANC in Nelson Mandela Metro, in DR Beyers Naude and in Koukama. They rely on us to make informed choices about their future because they want development and services. What do we do about them? Do we say you did not give us enough votes, so we are not interested in coalition arrangements? Or do we say in the interest of development we are willing to work with anyone who is prepared to advance shared developmental programmes with us?

Comrades, I am posing these strategic and tactical questions deliberately. As we ponder answers to these pertinent questions, we should be mindful of the fact that coalition governments in Europe are a new political reality. In Germany for instance, they functioned so well and brought stability and economic growth in the entire Euro Zone.
Realistically, the post November 1 local government landscape has changed drastically, and coalition local governments are now our new reality, our new normal. They are part of our political DNA. This is the sad reality that we must comprehend with my dear Comrades.

As we navigate these unchartered waters, I suggest that we take heed of the wise counsel of President Oliver Tambo when he said: “Learn from the enemy also. The enemy is not necessarily doing everything wrongly. You may take his right tactics and use them to your advantage.” In heeding OR’s counsel, we need to be mindful of the fact that we are now compelled by circumstances to work hand in hand with our political and ideological opponents, mainly form the opposition benches. What that means therefore is that we must set parameters upon which these coalitions will be built. Of critical importance are the points or areas of convergence. For instance, if we are to enter into a coalition with the DA, do we have areas where we converge, politically and ideologically?
Surely, the delivery of services to the citizens of the Nelson Mandela Metro is the first area of convergence and commitment to clean governance might the second area of convergence. Comrades these are some of the tactical and strategic questions that must occupy all of us as we embark in this process of identifying the best cadres that will run our municipalities.

Ndicinga kufike ixesha lokuba siwetyise lamazwi ale ngqondi yakwa Tambo, kuba abantu bakuthi abanohlala iminyaka emihlanu bekulawulo olungazinzanga. As a leader of society, the ANC must rise above party politics to lead the people of South Africa even in this quagmire of hug municipalities.

Comrade Deputy Chairperson as this PEC we are also called upon in this hour to put our heads together to identify Mayoral candidates for all our Municipalities. There is a set criterion that our movement has developed to ensure we choose the best capable cadres for Mayoral duties, so that we do better. We must stick to the criteria provided in selecting Mayoral candidates but also ensure that we set monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to regularly assess the performance of our deployed cadres. Mayors in return should stick to the criteria that is provided in selecting Mayoral Committee Members. That way we should put forward the best amongst our cadres to lead a positive change in local government.

It would be amiss of me if I do not touch on the issue of Troikas. We have made a commitment to our people that we are ending the political football field that some of our municipalities have become where TROIKA Members are always at each other’s throats, leading to a collapse of services to our communities. The PEC should be agile in stopping instability when it rears its ugly head in all our municipalities. When such instability takes place, the eyes of the Nation are on the PEC.

Comrades the ANC has made bold commitments in the Manifesto, and councillors have now been elected to fulfil those commitments.
At the top of those commitments is:

? Choosing the best cadres to run municipalities.
? Fighting Corruption and ending wastage in municipalities.
? Making municipalities financially viable
? Fight Crime, Drugs and Gender-Based Violence and
? Dealing with the problem of Youth Unemployment and lack of skills.

All ANC councillors have taken a pledge to:
? Do better,
? Deliver service delivery promptly and consistently,
? Stimulate local economies.
? Remain accountable and
? Rebuilding safer communities

Anyone ANC councillor who goes into Councils to do anything that is contrary to this pledge will be bringing the ANC into disrepute. As we embark on the process of identifying Mayoral candidates, Whips and Speakers, we must take heed of the wise words of Mama Charlotte Maxeke when she said: “This work is not for yourself, kill that spirit of self.”

Masenzeni oko fanele sikwenze ngokunyaniseka nangokuthembeka sinike abantu beliphondo iinkokheli ezizakubasebenzela ngentobeko ne ntembeko. Aluta continua !!!

Amandlaaaa!!!

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