Cape Town – African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Jessie Duarte, has called on party members to be “strong” and have the “courage” to move forward and transform the “lives of our people”.
Duarte’s remarks came after the ANC lost control of the Gauteng metros.
“We may have lost quite a lot of what we worked very hard for but we’ve not lost the battle to transform the lives of our people. Most of the wards in our communities still under an ANC ward councillor, this is what we must remember – our people did not reject us as the DA, the EFF and others would wish to make us to believe.
“…Have courage, be strong and let us move forward. It is time to renew our movement and return back into the glorious movement that we all come from and that our parents came from,” said Duarte.
Cde Jesse Duarte speaks pic.twitter.com/w4AOIQYEXx
— Jacques Cupido (@jacquescupido12) November 23, 2021
The ANC suffered a bruising loss in the City of Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Ekurhuleni after ActionSA, and the EFF teamed up with other opposition parties to vote for DA candidates.
DA’s Randall Williams was elected unopposed as mayor of Pretoria, while Mpho Phaletse was elected as mayor of the country’s economic hub and largest city Johannesburg.
In Ekurhuleni, another DA candidate, Tania Campbell, was elected mayor.
Local elections to choose municipal councillors on November 1 saw the African National Congress (ANC) suffer its worst showing at the ballot box since the country’s first multi-racial polls in 1994, which marked the end of apartheid.
But Duarte said: “What we need to do is to take two steps backward so that we can review what we need to do and to make sure that no single municipality in this country will undermine the lives of the people – that whatever happens we will be there to ensure that not only the privileged and the rich are taken care of but our people get the services that they need and that they deserve to get.”
She urged party members to continue to serve the people of South Africa “… no matter how we are betrayed by people who pretend to be amongst us. Let us close ranks and let us move forward”.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday described the ANC’s losses as “a big lesson”.
“It is disappointing,” Ramaphosa said at a joint news conference he hosted with visiting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“This for us is a big setback, but also it is also a big lesson,” he said adding that “what is unfolding is how democracy works”.
But Kenyatta lauded the development as a sign of “mature” democracy.
“As South Africans, you should be very proud and happy with yourselves that you have a mature democracy. What you see here is not very common in many other parts of the world,” Kenyatta said on a three-day working visit to South Africa.
The DA has been the country’s largest opposition party for nearly two decades.
Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by Betha Madhomu
Additional reporting by AFP