The ANC government will have to move faster in addressing service delivery shortcomings or risk being voted out of power.
So said party deputy president David Mabuza when speaking to traditional leaders in Limpopo on Wednesday. He was talking ahead of the party’s 110th birthday celebration this weekend, dubbed January 8, where the ANC will chart a way forward for the year ahead.
Mabuza admitted that the pace at which the ANC was trying to improve service delivery was slow, and that this led to despondency among voters.
“We have heard people crying about service delivery, but this time around we are going to respond. All our municipalities, our provincial and national governments must respond to our people and we must move a bit faster,” he said.
“This is a commitment that we are making. Otherwise, if we are not making that commitment, it means we must accept that we must be voted out of government. We don’t accept because we can still do better and we must do better.”
Mabuza’s remarks come just two months after the party was battered at the local government elections, where the ANC lost three of the country’s metropolitan municipalities — Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni — to DA-led coalitions.
“In every household there are problems,” he said.
Mabuza, along with other ANC leaders including President Cyril Ramaphosa, is in Limpopo to rally supporters before the January 8 statement.
Ramaphosa will on Saturday at the main event give direction to ANC members and deployees in government on the party’s programme for 2022.
“We heard our people concerned about the level of corruption, mismanagement of state resources … We are going to strengthen our hand,” Mabuza told traditional leaders.
We will never turn our backs against you. In times of difficulties and happiness, we will hold hands together with you.
ANC deputy president David Mabuza
Mabuza later addressed a crowd of supporters in Seshego, where he urged them to come to the January 8 statement meeting.
He admitted there were problems the party grappled with and assured that these were being attended to.ADVERTISING
Mabuza received a cold reception at the meeting with traditional leaders, who lambasted the government for abandoning them. They threatened to boycott the ANC at the polls.
“I want to appeal to you to calm down. You have given me, here in this meeting, an ultimatum of six months. We will never separate with the traditional leaders. I can hear today the threats that you are putting across to say, we are going to leave you, but from the side of the ANC, we will never because you are a part of our existence.
“We will never turn our backs against you. In times of difficulties and happiness, we will hold hands together with you.”
The deputy president added that he hoped the party’s annual celebration would help the leadership reconcile with its constituency as it had been evident that they had broken away.
“Our people are complaining about the social distance that we have created between us and them, and I can sense the very same sound from this meeting … that you are very far from us. Even if we want to talk to you, you won’t talk to us.”