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ANC gunning for outright majority in election, not concerned with coalitions or Zuma’s MK Party


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ANC gunning for outright majority in election, not concerned with coalitions or Zuma’s MK Party

ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri
ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri

15th April 2024

By: Sashnee Moodley
Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia


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The African National Congress (ANC) is confident, ahead of the May 29 elections, of an outright win and has not spent time discussing a coalition strategy, nor is it concerned about its former President Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party.

This was according to ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri who spoke exclusively with Polity on Monday, to unpack the party’s manifesto and policies set out within.


Recent polling has put the ANC’s electoral support at below 50% in this election, which, if proven true, would mean the party would have to enter into a coalition to form a government. However, Bhengu-Motsiri said the ANC was aiming for an outright majority.

While other parties had been in coalition talks and had even expressed interest in a coalition with the ANC, she said the ruling party was focussing on its own campaign for an outright win.


“Our ground is seriously energised. It’s almost as if its 1994. We are not thinking of other parties, we are focussing on the message of the ANC,” she said.

And despite the controversy surrounding Zuma’s MK Party, this issue is not top of mind for the ANC.

When asked about whether the ANC was concerned about the former ANC President’s MK Party in the election fray, Bhengu-Motsiri stressed that Zuma was suspended as an ANC member.

“There’s no worry about the MK Party. The 29th of May will be the defining moment and we are looking forward to that,” she said.


Bhengu-Motsiri noted that while the ANC may have had or currently has corrupt members, the party itself was not corrupt.

She punted the party’s renewal programme as a way to improve the way the party connects with South Africans.

Priorities included “…to go back to what our founding fathers, including Nelson Mandela and countless others have left us, and the directives they have left us with, making sure that all of those things are attended to and one of those is addressing the demon of corruption and clarifying that the ANC is not a corruption organisation. We may have had, we may have, members that are corrupt but it is not the ANC that is practising corruption,” she said.

And to underscore that fact, she said the party had embarked on several actions to emphasise its renewal agenda, one of which was the party’s integrity commission, which was able to enforce the step-aside policy if an ANC member was convicted of wrongdoing.

“Those are interventions by the ANC to make sure corruption is being dealt with. We are modernising the work we are doing to ensure that ethics and integrity management is upheld in the organisation,” Bhengu-Motsiri assured.

She noted that the party would continue with its cadre deployment policy, but stated that it would be improved upon.

She pointed out that cadre deployment was practised across the world and was not unique to South Africa.

“Once people have given you the mandate to govern by voting for you, surely it is not expected that you go in there blind [sided] without the human capital that understands the policies of the party that has been voted in. So we don’t see anything untoward about our cadre deployment policy, we will continue to practise it and we will improve it…,” she said.

Discussing how the party would keep its proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) safe from corruption, she said she did not understand the narrative that it would attract corruption.

She accused opposition parties, particularly the Democratic Alliance (DA), of being ideologically opposed to the NHI and not for reasons relating to corruption.

“[The NHI] will not attract corruption because it enjoys huge support from the people of South Africa that are going to be impacted positively by this policy. I don’t understand where the idea of corruption comes from. [The DA] are opposed to it on the basis of the fact that they don’t think that the poorest of the poor and those currently not covered by health policies deserve to have that access,” she stated.


With loadshedding's longstanding affect on the country’s economy, Bhengu-Motsiri was quick to point out that there had not been loadshedding in the country for almost two weeks.

She attributed this to the “hard work” by those deployed by the ANC, particularly Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.

When asked about the party’s plan to ensure security of energy supply going forward, Bhengu-Motsiri said that a “very strong” energy mix plan had been shared with stakeholders including businesses, communities and trade unions. The ANC’s manifesto touted subsidised solar power as one of the interventions.

She said the energy mix plan was to ensure the party followed through on its policies and to ensure that the energy mix did not “disadvantage” businesses or the role of trade unions.

The ANC was looking at how to use coal and renewables in a way that did not undermine the actions needed to ensure the preservation of the environment, she added.


Bhengu-Motsiri noted South Africa’s strong campaign against gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide, work she attributed to the ANC and its women’s league.

However, she acknowledged that more needed to be done to combat GBV and crime in the country.

“We need to step up, it’s not enough. We need to make sure we partner with other countries that face the same challenge. We, on our own, need to intensify campaigns aimed at tackling the scourge and the pandemic of GBV. And this is something the manifesto commits to do. The President launched an action plan two years ago aimed at tackling this on several fronts: from research, all the way to practical levels on the ground. So you can’t fix what is not broken. We need to make sure that action plan is given much more momentum and then we proceed,” she said.

Overall, she said crime was a matter of serious concern and revealed that the party would, in the coming days, reveal a clear set of interventions proposed in its manifesto.

Meanwhile, when discussing the ANC’s plan to create 2.5-million job opportunities over five years, Bhengu-Motsiri said this was a continuation of the work started by the ANC 30 years ago, at the end of apartheid.

She said despite the work that had been done to create employment, it was still not enough given the country’s challenges, including a growing youth population and immigration.

She said government’s budget was “overstretched”. However, she noted that the ANC’s manifesto set out a “scientifically tested” plan to deal with the issues.

When asked why voters should choose to vote for the ANC again, given the fact that there were still longstanding socioeconomic ills despite years of its rule, Bhengu-Motsiri pointed out that since the end of colonial rule of 300 years, much had been done to improve the lives of South Africans.

“If you look at 300 years of colonial rule, where people were disenfranchised… you will understand why South Africans should vote ANC. And South Africans are going to vote ANC, including young people. Thirty years of democracy against 300 years of colonial rule, I think you can judge for yourself,” she ended.


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