Newly elected ANC Gauteng chair Panyaza Lesufi believes the party will have to intervene to deal with rampant crime in the province.
According to Lesufi, the level of lawlessness requires a dramatic increase in police officers on the streets as people and businesses in Gauteng live in fear because of the crimes that have become synonymous with the province.
Incidents of aggravated hijackings, kidnapping, house breakings and robberies have increased in the recent years.
Lesufi said businesses were reluctant to invest and struggled to prosper because of crime.
He called for the police force to be heightened across the country’s economic hub to protect residents and businesses.
“As the state, through the ANC, as long as we find lawlessness and crime in our province we’re going to lose businesses,” he said.
“I believe we should step in. I believe the total number of police officers we have countrywide should be the force we have in Gauteng alone to protect everyone.”
Lesufi was addressing a media briefing after being elected ANC provincial chair at the party’s conference this weekend.
He addressed the briefing together with other provincial officials elected at the conference, including deputy chair Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, provincial secretary TK Nciza, deputy provincial secretary Tasneem Motara and treasurer Morakane Mosupyoe.
The conference adjourned to the weekend of July 10 to vote for the additional provincial executive committee and discuss policy documents.
We need to get the ANC right so we can get our province right so we can get our country right
Panyazi Lesufi, Gauteng ANC chairperson
It is expected the policy discussions will include how to halt the party’s electoral decline ahead of the 2024 general elections.
Lesufi said the party has to get the ANC right through policies which will translate to government, to keep its voters in the next elections.
“We need to get the ANC right so we can get our province right so we can get our country right,” he said.
According to Lesufi, South Africans felt let the down by the ANC government and this has translated to the decline at the polls.
However, he said, there are still many who are emotionally attached to the party, even those who aren’t members of the ANC.
“They are emotionally attached to your ANC. We must not take their emotions for granted. It is very important therefore that we have an ANC that can respond to their grievances, among many other things.
“You can’t have this kind of lawlessness, where people are kidnapped in restaurants in broad daylight, people are kidnapped on highways. People can have a car transporting money hijacked in daylight. People that can break into vehicles at traffic lights.”
“What touched me about South Africa is that we have a high cost of living. It’s very difficult, especially in an economic province like ours. There are many things we need to deal with. Wait for us when we give you our policy propositions for literally everything about society. There must be no-one who feels the ANC will not deal with or discuss these matters.”
He said the ANC remains the biggest political formation in the country even though people say it is on its deathbed.
“Don’t prejudge us. There are people who say this thing is dead, people don’t love it … In parliament there is no single political party that has half our membership. In this province, there is no party with electoral votes to match the ANC. You have to combine all of them to match or defeat the ANC.
“Don’t play into the agenda of the opposition to say the ANC is dead. It will not die.”
He said the ANC remains the only political organisation geared towards non-racialism.